Christian counseling can be defined as a central and critical relationship between people who care. Christian counseling deals with people as one who have been created by God. These people are in the like image of God. The Christian counselor must be saved and very mature in the word of God.
A Christian counselor must use Christian counseling at all times by encouraging and guiding people that are facing many problems. Their stress is one of innermost feelings. All the secular doctors in the world cannot assist them as a Christian counselor filled with the Holy Spirit.
I once read a book, Released From Bondage, that explained the guilt many people have and exactly how to become totally released from any bondage. A Christian counselor wrote this book. While reading Released From Bondage, one can feel the guilt disappear as they read. This book was only written through the guidance of the Holy Spirit in my opinion.
Christian counseling can help the conflicts and social pressure. The stress today is keeping up with the world is not understood by a non-Christian. A person that is not saved and mature cannot possibly know the difference between Spiritual release and worldly bondage. Christian counseling separates this immediately.
Every Christian worker should consider the emphasis he places on counseling. He should keep in mind that God is intensely interested in the individual. In Jesus’ ministry here on earth, He manifested His interest in individuals. True, the throngs pressed him and He fed the multitude, but Jesus called His disciples one by one. Jesus met Nicodemus alone to talk over the things of God. Another time Jesus sat by a well and explained to a woman of Samaria how she could have satisfying, living water. And in a jostling street procession Jesus looked up and spotted a man sitting in the branches of a tree. Jesus ordered the man to come down. Then Jesus left the throng and went with Zacchaeus to his home so that He could personally discuss this man’s needs. Christ heard the pleading cry of poor blind Bartimaeus and stopped on His way to minister to him and to give him sight.
Jesus gave His life for each individual and salvation is an individual matter. Counseling was His major tool in winning people to Himself. Counseling to my understanding is best described as the story of the wondering sheep. The good shepherd left the ninety and nine to help one, poor wandering sheep. Can we do less than give people our personal attention? It is God’s way and it is the effective way to help people with their individual needs.
The goal of an effective counselor is to know God and to make God known through the help of the Holy Spirit to all people. A good listener is a must for an effective counseling session. Taking time with people is a process within itself, and understanding what people are saying is most important. Humble and staying professional as Jesus did is the way into the hearts of others. The counselor should be respectful and be respected. The counselor must understand that he or she is not the judge, only a Christian counselor.
Team playing is a must and Jesus showed exactly what team playing was when He washed the disciples feet. Jesus showed that the greatest counselor in history was a servant. Jesus guarded Himself from being manipulated and used by deceitful people. Counselors should never meet the opposite sex in an un-supervised area. Honesty is the best in all cases and one must guard from lies from either side.
Prayer before and after meetings keeps both sides under the accountability to God. A good counselor must live what he counsels and be a Godly person .We read that the feeling of our infirmities in Hebrews touches Jesus. Jesus wept when He came to the grave of His friend, Lazarus (Jn. 11.35). Jesus mourned for the city of Jerusalem as He poured out His heart over its wayward, indifferent condition (Matt. 23.37). Sympathy is communicated by a gentle approach and kind words. Yet a counselor cannot afford to let his heart run away with his reason. He is of little effect if he becomes ill. This only aggravates the situation. In such cases the counselor, as well as the counselee needs help. We as counselors are and never will be as strong as Jesus, but with good training and the Holy Spirit’s help we can counsel others.
The counselor is the Christian leader who guides the person through spiritual growth, and allows that person to deal with the problems here on earth. The first role of the counselor is to assist the person to relax. Showing warm understanding and letting that person know that things really are all right. The counselee must trust the counselor and this is accomplished by a slow warm process. The fruit of a Christian will show out to the counselor immediately and the counselor must help one who is not saved to come to the Lord for salvation.
A good counselor will be energetic, and a good listener. The counselor cannot get involved physically with the counselee. The counselor must be able to filter all the things that may not be true when listening to the counselee, not because this is absolutely what the counselor believes to be true. A true counselor will build a slow, strong, effective relationship with the counselee.
The counselor must focus their attention on the counseling process. During each interview subject concentrate on the therapeutic process of Why, what, where and how are good places to start on each subject that is brought out. Record this information and develop a pattern in the counselee’s thinking habits.