Who do you turn to when you face problems? As a Christian, you likely go to God in prayer and turn to His Word, but if you’re like me, you also reach out to family, friends, mentors, the internet, and books to help you work through your emotions and struggles. Even with these resources, we can still find ourselves stuck. This stuck feeling is like staying in the exit lane of a cloverleaf interchange on a highway. You are still moving, but you are not moving forward. Instead, you watch the same scenery pass by your window on a loop. I’ve been in this place before, but when I found myself here recently, I decided to consider professional Christian counseling.
Verses About Christian Counseling
I had to ask myself whether Christians should see professional counselors. The answer to this question lies in a gray area because the Bible does not speak directly about this issue. However, numerous verses talk about seeking wise counsel.
Proverbs 11:14 states:
“Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 12:15 commends those who seek counsel as wise, saying, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.” (See also Proverbs 19:20 and 13:10)
Although there is not a verse that directly affirms God’s approval of professional counseling, these passages show that counseling is not only beneficial to our well-being, but it is also wise.
Professional Christian counselors who are educated, trained, and licensed can work with you to pinpoint the root cause of your struggles. Then, they can use their knowledge to help you develop goals to overcome them according to principles in Scripture.
What Is the Role of a Professional Christian Counselor?
Although seeking counsel is biblical, Christians must be wise about whom they seek counseling from. It is helpful to understand the role of a professional counselor when deciding where and whom to ask for help.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, “professional” is an adjective meaning “relating to work that needs special training or education.” Professional Christian counselors have given themselves to preparation, just as Ezra had prepared his heart to study the law (Ezra 7:10). They prepare through discipleship, education, and training. Often, professional Christian counselors hold the designation of Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) or Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
How Can Christians Benefit from Professional Christian Counseling?
Counseling is not a passive activity. It requires a willingness to change, grow, and be vulnerable. In my case, I made many excuses like, “I don’t have time” and “It’s too expensive.” However, the real reason I hesitated to seek biblical counseling was fear. I feared being vulnerable, being wrong, and being advised to make changes I wasn’t ready to make.
As I prayed and wrestled with my conviction, I realized that Satan uses our mistakes and sins to accuse and shame us. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…” The Holy Spirit unveiled the meaning of that verse to my heart and used it to free me from the shame I felt.
He gave me a picture of a courtroom. God was the judge, I was the defendant, and Satan was the prosecuting attorney. As he spouted accusations at me, I felt alone, ashamed, and hopeless. Then, the Lord Jesus came beside me, and I felt peace, love, and acceptance.
The shame disappeared, and I felt courageous. He whispered to my heart that I could face anything I had done wrong because He had already paid the penalty for my sin. Satan had no power to persuade God to reject me because I was secure in my justification attained by Christ’s work on the cross.
The Holy Spirit’s work in my heart allowed me to participate in professional Christian counseling. In John 14:26, Jesus states, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” I learned I could face my sin without fear or condemnation. He further assured me that He would be with me to work through any other issues that surfaced in counseling. Through professional Christian counseling, I got out of the exit lane of that cloverleaf exchange and merged into the flowing highway of abundant life (John 10:10).
Do You Know Jesus as Your Wonderful Counselor?
Isaiah 9:6 describes Jesus as a Wonderful Counselor. He has the wise counsel we need for every situation, but He has also equipped faithful believers to provide biblical counseling for those seeking freedom and healing.
At Abundant Life Counseling Center, we believe that Scripture is the key to understanding the essence of what it means to be human and provides guidance to living abundantly. Professional Christian counselors guide clients by utilizing best practices, following the Holy Spirit through the lens of Scripture, and holding the Bible as the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.