3.1. Problem Area
We understand that biblical counseling looks at life’s issues from the perspective of our ‘feelings’, ‘doing’ and ‘root’ levels. It is through these levels, we assess and evaluate the problem, the diagnostics.
Our ‘feelings’ tell us what is happening, but we are not to make decisions or live by those ‘feelings’. This is what distinguishes a Christian from the world. The world lives by ‘feelings’ but a Christian lives by his will. And his will is based on the word of God which is the will of God. He is to do what God says to do regardless of his ‘feelings’.
The ‘doing’ of God’s word regardless of feelings is illustrated by God’s commandment to love our enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who persecute you. This is all contrary to our natural feelings but our true self in exercising God’s command – the self in union with the Holy Spirit – transcends the natural and changes our feelings into compassion rather than retaliation.
The emphasis on the Christian life is in the ‘doing’. It is the ‘doing’ that changes our feelings as well as our ‘root’ level. As we do what God’s word commands, the Holy Spirit changes our ‘root’ from selfishness and self-centeredness, conforming us to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This lifelong process continues changing us from glory to glory when we simply obey God’s word.
Accordingly, we are to view the problem from ‘God’s perspective’, and His word provides the solution, the ‘hope’, and with hope are ‘changes’ that are necessary, and the ‘practice’ of these changes to conform you to the image of Christ.
Depending upon your problem or situation, the following are provided to assist you in seeking God’s solution:
1. Orientation to Biblical Counseling . An eight week training course to provide students with a basic knowledge on how to handle their problems God’s way as opposed to the world’s way.
2. Biblical Discipleship . A five week program for new Christians, teaching them how to grow and mature in Christ. This could be used for individual counseling or a classroom setting.
3. Strengthening Your Marriage . A ten week course for pre-marital and marital situations.
4. Life Studies . These are worksheets designed for individual counseling situations, and deal with a variety of sin problems and the solutions thereof.
The Life Studies are divided into three categories:
1. Guilt and Shame , the past;
2. Anger and Bitterness , the present;
3. Fear , the future.
These time segments cover all of life’s experiences and must be dealt with biblically. Counselee must know that he is identified with Christ, that by the blood of our Lord, counselee’s conscience is washed and cleansed of guilt and shame once and forever. Now he is to live the new life, empowered by the Holy Spirit, collaborating with God, to deal with his present, the daily offenses and irritations of life, and thereby establish God’s will on earth. Thus, he is enabled to leave the future in God’s hands.
3.3. Counseling Tools
Use Section A.7, “Problem/Solution Worksheet” as a guide to gather basic information in order to evaluate the problem, and to provide a biblical solution.
The Life Studies , the various subject matter worksheets, and the forms listed in the Appendix , provide source material for discussion purposes as well as for homework assignments.
For an in-depth biblical understanding of the specific issues addressed in this manual, we recommend the following:
- Self-Confrontation Manual and Handbook , for the ministry of Biblical Discipleship/Counselling. By Biblical Counseling Foundation. [BCF1]
- Strengthening Your Marriage . By Wayne Mack. [Mack1]
- The Healing Presence . by Leane Payne. [Payne1]
- Restoring the Christian Soul Through Healing Prayer . by Leane Payne. [Payne2]
- Bold Love . By Dan Allender. [Allender1]
- The Divine Conspiracy . By Dallas Willard. [Willard1]
- The Interior Castle . By St Teresa of Avila. [StTeresa1]
- Transformation in Christ . By Dietrich von Hildeband. [Hildebrand1]
- Collected Works of St. John of the Cross . By Kieran Kavanaugh. [Kavanaugh1]
- Healing the Culture . By Robert J.Spitzer. [Spitzer1]
Remember: You are given life so that Life may indwell you, Christ Himself, and you are to work out this life daily being conformed to His image. God’s word is your authority, and the indwelling Holy Spirit is your power to enable you to be a blessing on this earth. Go now as you make a disciple of yourself, go and make disciples of others and fulfill Christ’s command. Let a godly lifestyle be a living witness of Christ walking this earth in, as, and through you.
Work Out Your Salvation (Phil. 2:12-13)
BSAF on Eph. 4:25-32 .
Select a problem that the Lord wants you to work on and complete columns 1 through 4 on Section A.4, “Victory Over Sin Worksheet” . Review Eph. 4:25-32 ; Rom. 12:9-21 ; 1 Pet. 2 and 1 Pet. 3 . Preview Section A.2, “Think And Do List” .