Before you read this blog you should know something about me. I am not a professional counselor. I am a Pastor who has done plenty of counseling. Some of the counseling I was unqualified to do and should never have attempted! I do not love doing counseling but I do love to help people. Encouraging people with God’s truths and helping them believe that the best of life is possible – this is something I enjoy. However, I do often refer people to counselors and mainly Christian counselors.
When someone is speaking into your life it is important that their belief system and ethical standards line up to your own. The chances these standards and values will line up seem greater when referring to a Christian counselor. Often times counseling builds the foundation by which someone lives their life. The scriptures clearly give us direction about the two foundations we can build our life on – one lasts and one fails.
In Jesus’ most famous sermon he warns people what will happen when you build your life on the wrong foundation. You can build your life on self confidence and wordily values and when the storms of life come you will be destroyed. Life will be to much to handle. However, when someone builds their life on the Rock, the firm foundation found in the person of Jesus, even though the storms and trials of life come they will not destroy your soul. The storms will make you stronger.
Jesus is absolutely essential to living and he is the best help in our time of greatest need. With that being said, Jesus alone is not always the answer. Let me explain.
A friend of mine has been walking through a dark past of abuse more substantial than most of us can comprehend. After many christian counselors and christian programs he told me, “Jesus didn’t work for me.” Many christian programs told him the answer to his pain was to trust more in Jesus, allow Jesus to miraculously heal his past pains and nightmares, and to wait for a miraculous touch from God. He waited, prayed, read his bible, and the nightmare continued to escalate.
Knowing he had to do something different he attended a secular program. It has been the catalyst to healing. Everyday he fights the battle with his faith in Jesus, but not exclusively. He leans on the methods and tools he learned though secular counseling.
At times in our lives we may desperately need help reliving and overcoming moments of abuse, pain, and frustration from the past. In other moments of life we need to hear what the bible says about identity and love. We need reassurance that God deeply cares about us and He will never abandon us. One need may be accomplished through a secular counselor while the other need a biblical counseling.
At the end of the day we don’t need one or the other, we need both. Christian and secular counseling are critical to the growth and development of people. Exclude one entirely based on faith and you may miss the avenue God intends to bring health back into your life.
Regardless of their label, christian or secular, always take the advice to the Bible. Is what they are saying to me consistent with the scriptures? Does this advice go against Jesus and the Bible? If you find this to be true you must always choose the path of truth found in the scriptures.
Jesus is the ultimate truth. The creator trumps the created.