This is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. I have had the opportunity this Fall to attend two biblical counseling training events (with one more in December) put on by NANC. The following article could have been presented during the first weekend’s training, which dealt with the foundations of biblical counseling. It was suggested that biblical counseling is, in fact, intensive discipleship.
On a side note, I heard one of the metaphors for biblical counseling that’s used in this article, first used in a talk on biblical counseling several years ago. I think you will find it quite helpful as you think about the relationship between biblical counseling and discipleship.
Counseling and Discipleship
By Deepak Reju at 9Marks
Our discipleship in Christ is like sitting in a boat on a river that flows toward him. Sometimes the river is winding and slow. Other times it’s is rocky and fast. But gratefully his Spirit is always drawing us toward him, increasing our love for him, his word, and his people. As we flow down the river toward him, different men and women help to disciple us along the way. And we are called to help disciple them.Now, I am not a fisherman, but I have been told that along the river there are “eddies.” These are small pools of water where the fishermen can pull off the river, reload their gear, get some rest, and even strategize before continuing along the river again.Counseling is like an eddy. It’s a particular form of discipleship, where Christians pull off the river for a period of time to focus on the “problems” that are hindering their movement. It’s a time to stop and ask, “What slows us down from growing closer to our Savior?” The counselor sits in the eddy and waits for the fishermen to pull off and ask for help. The biblical counselor patiently helps them. They sort through the Scriptures together, pray, and work at removing the obstacles from the fishermen’s paths. Then the counselor sends the fishermen back into the river that heads towards Christ.
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