3. Biblical Counseling Is Not Therapy

GraceTherapy is from a Greek word that simply means ‘curing’ or ‘healing.’ We have therapeutic medicines, treatments and procedures. Some of these are one-time events, others take more time and are monitored by various professionals.

The psychological community picked up this medical term and applied it to what they were doing with the ‘mind.’ In some cases, the therapies are medical [drugs, electro-shock treatments, etc.]. The most popular and well-known therapy, however, is Talk-Therapy.

For 45 / 50 minutes a Session, the “Therapist” will sit with you and listen to your problems, offering possible suggestions [Cognitive-Behavioral] or simply guiding you through the maze of your own realization [Rogerian]. There are a myriad of other therapies, but it just gets confusing to try and discuss / explain / analyze them all.

Suffice it to say, in the 20th Century, the term “psychotherapy” became not only popular but almost all-inclusive, as a description of what a psychological and/or psychiatric counselor was doing. At the risk of beating the horse to death, keep in mind they are using a term identified with the human soul [pseuche], all the while denying there is such a thing! In the world if psycho-therapy, the emphasis is on the physical: intellect, emotion and will, even though two of the three are not physical.

The secular therapist is working from a Standard of Behavior established by psychological testing and regulated by a worldly value-system. Psychological testing has revealed what appears to be normal for the majority of people. Those norms are then considered healthy, while behaviors outside these norms are unhealthy.

In counseling, the therapist seeks to guide the patient toward normalcy, by several differing modalities. There are a large and growing number of these modalities, which affords the patient a great deal of flexibility. If one therapist isn’t helping, there are always others.

Biblical Counseling is something of a misnomer, in that we’re really not doing ‘counseling,’ in any normal understanding of the term. The phrase is an accommodation to the world’s understanding, for brevity. The biblical counselor is listening for the value-system, the behavioral patterns, the philosophy of life that has guided the sufferer into the turmoil they are now facing.

Once identified, the suffering soul is pointed toward the One Who gave him / her that soul. God has made human beings with a soul: an immaterial part of our being. That soul cannot find rest in anything or anyone other than it’s Maker. Efforts to do so, following feelings, desires, pleasures, emotional satisfactions, medications, drugs, sex, etc., are short-lived and fraught with destructive possibilities.

Folks who want biblical counseling already know what their problem is. They are seeking to live a life contrary to / away from / without God. Any effort, on the part of the counselor, to minimize or down-play that reality is doing no one a favor.

Biblical counseling brings the whole person into the equation. The problem is not that you have feelings of despair. The problem is you are running away from God or neglecting God, or what you know is right. God gives a satisfaction the world does not / cannot comprehend. You are not satisfied. You are running from God.

The problem is not that your wife or your husband doesn’t appreciate you. The problem is you are not loving your wife or your husband, as you should. Admittedly, this one’s a hard-sell. When a married person feels there is not love coming from the other person, they automatically begin to think the marriage is over. It takes two to tango, doesn’t it?

No! In a marriage, both parties have promised to love the other, no matter what! That one or the other has ceased, doesn’t mean you can cease. You promised. You promised him/her. You promised God. Your promise was forever: for better or for worse, in sickness / health, richer / poorer, until death separates you.

Are you a man / a woman of your word? Do you keep promises? Promises made in the presence of God? Vows before God? Yes? Then do it. Love is a verb: action not feeling. Love gives, expecting nothing in return. If you do not feel love for a person, nothing has changed about you or your promise or your responsibility. That you no longer have feelings for that other person means you have stopped loving them.

The solution to your problem is not drugs; not a divorce; not a technique for getting him/her engaged, again. The solution is to repent of your sin and go back to loving that partner the way Christ loves His Church — His stubborn, unresponsive, self-orietent, sinful Bride.

Do you see the difference between therapy and biblical solutions?

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