Things have been a little rough in my world lately. I have been fighting battles on a number of frontiers and frankly I am rather weary. The work of a biblical counselor is not a glorious ministry. We are charged with loving the unlovable people, fixing the Humpty Dumpty relationships, and serving the “problem children” in the family of God.
But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; 1 Corinthians 12:20-22 (NASB)
The ministry of one-to-one intensive discipleship is often focused on the weaker members in the church. We are often given the cases that no one else can solve, or we are sent members that have benefited from months or years of wise counsel and have not made any lasting change in their thoughts, beliefs, or desires. Many times they have sat under excellent preaching and teaching and have consumed hours and hours of the pastor’s time in a counseling relationship with little results. Sadly, it is at this point that the frustrated pastor will suggest the person seek professional help and may refer them to the local therapist or psychologist. It breaks my heart when I learn of pastors who have sent their sheep to the wolves. I am not going to judge the motives for such a suggestion because many pastors still do not know or understand the importance of biblical counseling. Many do not understand that biblical counseling is discipleship!
It is the responsibility of the church not therapeutic or psychological professionals to be dabbling in the souls of men. It is our job, and we must seriously consider the call to provide soul care to the people of God. We are to care for one another, we are to teach, rebuke, correct, and train each other in righteousness, we are to encourage the fainthearted, and we are to love one another as Christ has already loved us. Yes, there are times we will get a little dirty as we go into the muck after a wandering Christian, and no, it won’t always be convenient.
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9 (NASB)
The biblical counselor desires to help others grow and change into the likeness of Christ. Sometimes, we share our own struggles in hopes that you will see the evidence of God’s working in our hearts and be encouraged.
We do it for the glory of God. When I was talking with a friend the other day, I told her that our struggles bring glory to God in part because they remind us of how very much we need Him. They break us of our independence and remind us of our need for the Son and His work on the cross.