Men standing together in prayer

The Methods of Biblical Counsel

How does biblical counseling differ from other counseling methods? Jeff Colon shows us that if we would effectively help people, we must understand the true nature of their problems. He also discusses what role past experiences play in the addictions many people struggle with.

Mike: Jeff, as men and women come to us, many of them have looked in a number of places for answers and have gotten a lot of different information. When we're looking at the method of our council, what is the foundation that we use for helping people with their problems?

Jeff: Well Mike, in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 it tells us that,

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

As a Christian, we have to realize that God's Word has everything we need to help bring a person out of a horrible pit of sin, and into the will of God.

Mike: Jeff, I know that when many people look at the Word of God, they see that it is a Book that talks about who God is and about salvation. But I think sometimes, it's hard for people to grasp that it really does have something to say about the day-to-day problems that we deal with. So, is there more to the Word of God than just over-arching religious issues, as some may see it?

Jeff: Absolutely. If we would just get in the Scriptures, we would realize that the Word of God addresses every kind of situation that a person is going to encounter in life. The joy I find in Biblical Counseling is that I know that whatever someone is dealing with, that the Word of God is going to reveal what the problem is and is also going to reveal the way out. God never points out a problem in our lives without giving us the answer.

BPURE (2) 1920x600-min.jpg

Mike: Okay. Then based on that, as we look at our method of counseling those struggling with sexual addiction, in much of both Christian and secular counseling, people want to look at what's going on in our early years. Is there something about how addiction is formed that relates to how we've grown up, or the experiences that we go through as we're growing up?

Jeff: You know, we were created to worship God. We were created for God. But we were also created to have fellowship with God. When we turned from that relationship that we had with God, there was a void left there. And every child that's born on Earth is born with that need inside of them to be accepted and to be loved, which really, only God can provide. Now, I don't know of a perfect mother, or a perfect dad, or a perfect situation that someone grows up with. When so we grow up, there's things that happen to us. Children are even abused. And the problem is that they have that longing there and they are not getting it met, so they turn to other things to fill that void in their life. And the more they turn to that, the more they become addicted to what it's giving them. That could be sex, it could be anything that is gratifying that need inside of them, that longing inside of them that really only God can fill.

Mike: Then how much am I really responsible for the choices and decisions I make now as an adult?

Jeff: We don't want to totally rule out the experiences, and I don't want to discount that they have effects on a child. But we've got to remember that people choose to sin. And whether harm was inflicted on us by someone or something else, or if we inflict harm on ourselves by choices we make, God calls us to deal with what we're facing biblically.

Mike: Would you agree that a vast majority of the emotional problems that we see in adults today, are rooted in our sinful condition and our rebellion against God, or in our response to others around us who are in a sinful condition?

Jeff: Here's the problem, Mike. If we just deal with our problems on an emotional level, we're never really going to get to the heart of the matter. And the heart of the matter is: we're born sinners, and the problems we face are the result of a sin issue. And unless we deal with the problem from where it originates, we will never experience freedom from whatever we're dealing with.

Mike: I think simply stated, we could say that most of the secular psychotherapy that people are exposed to only want to deal with the issue from an emotional level, and this is going to fall very short of what God wants to do in someone's life. What about the Christian psychologist, who will often deal with an issue on the emotional level, but also sees a need to bring in the spiritual component? Is that going far enough to really help a person?

Jeff: Well, a lot of times when a Christian counselor approaches it in that way, he's still keeping it an emotional problem. Unless we call it sin and unless there is true brokenness and repentance, unless there is a conforming of our lives to the Word of God, there will not be true freedom.

Mike: So, the problem that we're dealing with then is a sin issue and it's a matter of the heart. Talk to us a little bit about what the Bible has to say about the heart and the issue of sin.

Jeff: Jesus tells us that from within - from out of the heart of men - proceed evil thoughts: fornication, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these things proceed from within. And what that tells me, Mike, is that I'm not a product of my environment. The problem lies within, and the Word of God is clear on that. Jesus was clear on it.

Mike: So that makes me responsible.

Jeff: Absolutely

Mike: Okay then, you're a Christian counselor and you're talking to someone who has a condition of the heart manifesting itself in some way. What is the role of the Biblical Counselor in helping this individual?

Jeff: The goal of the Biblical Counselor is to help this person to see their problem the way God sees it. So, we have to bring them to the Scriptures, and we have to show them what the Bible says about what they're doing or what they're bound in. Then, we also show them the way out and actually come alongside of them and lead them, through the Word of God, into the way of freedom.

Mike: So, if I'm coming to a Biblical Counselor for help, I should expect that they are going to deal with sin very forthrightly and very frankly. And I'm going to be expected to respond to that, correct?

Jeff: Yes Mike. And I'd like to add, they're going to deal with it lovingly. Because we're not here to beat someone over the head with the Word of God. Jesus loved the woman at the well. He wasn't afraid to point out that she was in sin. But He didn't leave her there. He pointed her to the true source of the living waters, which was Himself.

Mike: Jeff, I know sometimes people look at counseling as if there's some great mystery to it that perhaps only the specially trained or only those who have the secrets can really understand. But when it comes to Biblical Counseling, there really isn't any mystery to what takes place, is there?

Jeff: No Mike, there isn't. Really, what a true Biblical Counselor does is, they roll their sleeves up and get in the mess with the person. That's what Jesus did for us. Then, through the truths of Scripture, they lead that person out of the quagmire that they have been stuck in. As that person learns to apply the Word of God to their situation, the Word of God does what it's supposed to do. It sets that person free. They start realizing that, as they are obedient to God, He will bring about in their life what they thought was impossible. And really, the Biblical Counselor is there to encourage them and admonish them, to come alongside of them and pray with them - to just help them out through the process.

Mike: So really, the biblical counselor is a facilitator of what God wants to do as the person responds to his authority and his direction in the Word of God.

Jeff: Yes.

Mike: Amen. Jeff, thanks for talking to us about the method of our counsel.

Jeff Colón is a minister of the Assemblies of God. He held various positions during his 22 years with Pure Life Ministries. Jeff holds an MDiv and BA in Biblical Counseling from Master’s International School of Divinity. He recently branched out on his own, launching Lighthouse Biblical Counseling Center in Dry Ridge, Kentucky.

Related Posts