Counseling is an extremely important and valuable ministry. It takes a certain delicacy combined with a particular boldness, all graced with love. It requires a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures and a high level of discernment to be able to get to the true root issue. The Spirit must play a serious role in the counseling effort.
A counselor should work alongside of a physician if medical and chemical issues are present. The counselor should not speak in a condescending way or in too much of a detached professional manner. He or she must be personable, as real as possible given the situation, and be clearly communicating that he or she cares about the person being counseled. The person is not a subject or a project. Sometimes a counselee’s issues are not always intellectual but stemming from a lack of seeing a person really care about him or her.
Finally, counseling must always be through the grid of the Bible. We must learn to take deceptive thoughts captive when Satan, the father of lies, puts them in our heads. As 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” The purpose of not succumbing to lies is for obedience to Christ. We have the power to be able to obey because and only because of Christ in us. We must also know the truth of Scripture to replace the lie with. This is part of how we are no longer conformed to the patterns of the world but are transformed as our mind is renewed through the application and appropriation of the Scriptures (Romans 12:1-2).
The battle then that will be waged is one of faith versus doubt. We must believe the promises of God no matter how we feel, and we must act upon them in faith. Faith in God’s Word which we know and meditate upon is the only means to victory. What we must remember when the moment of struggle, doubt, or temptation comes is that Christ will give us the resources to win. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says that “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” Counseling that is done in love and according to truth should lead the counselee to be able to live in victory by faith in Christ’s power within them.