Biblical Counseling Distinctives

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What makes Biblical counseling distinct? Is it because a Christian is the one providing the counseling? Or maybe it is defined by the Biblical truth from God’s Word. Let’s look into the distinctives are learn.

There are several instances when the approach of a biblical counselor and a humanist would be the same. Personnel selection is an example. The counselor must make a judgment on how the applicant will respond to the demands of a position. He studies the application form, autobiography, work history, and the interview. Based on this data, the skilled counselor can produce a reasonably accurate description of the applicant and how he will respond to his environment. The humanist and the biblical counselor can work side by side to this point; then we come to a fork in the road.

Many ask what the similarities are between biblical counseling and secular counseling. Examining the uniqueness of biblical counseling can help us see how God deals with the difficulties of human life versus how man deals with the problems of life. The Scripture makes it plain that human happiness or misery is not based on our circumstances or the people in our lives, but on which spirit controls us from within.

How is biblical counseling like other counseling? In these ways:

  • The counselor recognizes the distress of his counselee as evidence that a problem exists.
  • The counselor helps the counselee tell the whole story, bringing out all the facts, pleasant or unpleasant.
  • The counselor listens with compassion, accepting the counselee regardless of the story.
  • The counselor treats the information with utmost care.
  • The counselor grants the counselee the right to make his own decisions and to lead his own kind of life.

How does biblical counseling differ from secular counseling? In these ways:

  • The biblical counselor compares his counselee’s account with a fixed standard, the Bible.

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. 

 2 Tim. 3:16-17

  • The biblical counselor points out to the counselee the areas in which his experience agrees or differs with the standard of life that God sets forth in Scripture. Whether the counselee will seek God’s Spirit toward the people and circumstances in his life is the counselee’s own decision. Bringing the counselee to this point is the distinctive of biblical counseling.

  • The humanist seeks to determine how the environment has affected the applicant’s responses to life, whereas the biblical counselor seeks to determine if the applicant lives by the Spirit or by the desires of the sinful nature.

Biblical counseling focuses on the counselee’s inner life. This is a specialized activity. It should be clear to the counselee that the goal of a counseling session is to discover how the counselee’s story fits with biblical principles.

Interested in knowing more about biblical counseling?

These starting points are from our book, The Word for the Wise, available at our online store. Want to know more? Read the book and sign up for our online training course.