THE GOALS OF BIBLICAL COUNSELING
The immediate goals of counseling are:
-To guide the counselee in identifying and stating his problem.
-To provide scriptural counsel for dealing with the problem.
-To help the counselee find salvation, forgiveness, healing, deliverance, comfort, and answers to problems through application of scriptural principles.
-To promote biblical change that will transform lives.
With this in mind, the following spiritual foundations should be emphasized: Salvation, water baptism, baptism in the Holy Spirit, sanctified living, spiritual warfare, and developing the Fruit of the Spirit. The Word of God, prayer, and membership in a Bible-believing church are also essential.
As a biblical counselor, you are not aiming for self-improvement or rehabilitation. You don’t want a patched-up version of the old person. Rather, your goal is total transformation through Jesus Christ:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
(2 Corinthians 5:17-21)
As a biblical counselor, you are to lead people to experience transformation that results in new life, reconciling them to God through Jesus Christ. You are Christ’s ambassador, and He is making His appeal through you to a lost and needy world.
The end results of biblical counseling can be summed up in three phrases. The counselee must eventually:
-Admit it: Admit that what they are doing is wrong or that what was done to them was wrong.
-Quit it: If what they are doing is sinful, they need to ask forgiveness from God and quit doing wrong. If what was done to them by others was wrong, they need to quit nursing it and rehearsing it, and they must forgive their offender.
-Forget it: When God forgives, He forgets. The counselee must do likewise–forget the wrongs they have done and those they have suffered from the sinful actions of others.
The bottom line is, on the basis of God’s Word: Admit it, quit it, forget it.
Before concluding counseling, be sure the counselee is involved in a local church. If not, refer them to a church where further Christian growth, fellowship, and spiritual counsel can continue.
At some point in biblical counseling, a counselee must either accept or reject what God has to say regarding their problems. When the Word of God is rejected, no further progress can be made in terms of biblical counseling until the counselee agrees to what God says about his issues. Jesus asked His disciples, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46). A person cannot truly acknowledge Jesus as Lord unless they totally commit to doing His will.
The Old Testament leper, Naaman, initially rebelled against the Word of the Lord from the Prophet Elisha. Eventually, however, Naaman obeyed that Word and he received total restoration. No more leprosy. New skin. A new life! As a result, Naaman acknowledged that there was no other God in the world other than the one who had just made him whole (2 Kings 5:15). That is the testimony of those who receive and act upon the Word of God you deliver in biblical counseling.
DO NOT SEND THEM AWAY
When a weary, hungry, weak crowd gathered around the disciples, these men asked Jesus to send the multitude away:
Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.” (Luke 9:12)
But Jesus replied, “You give them something to eat” (Luke 9:13).
There are multitudes of spiritually hungry people who are too weak to go any further down the road of life. Will you send them away, or will you give them something to eat?
Like the disciples, you may feel inadequate for the task–they only had five loaves of bread and two fish. But these weren’t just any loaves of bread and fish. These elements were supernaturally multiplied because of the blessing upon them. You hold in your hands the Holy Scriptures–the supernaturally infused nourishment that is blessed by God and desperately needed by a spiritually hungry world.
God’s cry through the Prophet Hosea was “I would have healed them…”–but His counsel was rejected (Hosea 7). The balm of Gilead is only effective when applied (Jeremiah 8:22).
As a biblical counselor, your purpose is to apply the spiritual balm of God’s Word and share the bread of life with hurting men and women.
God’s stated purpose is that… “…My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11,NKJV).