God intends for His saints to be counseled from His Word by His saints. Indeed, He expects every pastor to shepherd His flock as an under-shepherd. Though pastors are required to look for problems, the people are responsible to help those caught in poor responses (transgressions) to life’s problems. The church is where courageous, compassionate counseling must occur.
But why would anyone ever want to counsel others? The final lesson of our first semester course, Principles of Biblical Counseling, helps us understand the delightful duty and eternal reward of counseling. Here are three reasons from Lesson 12 in our training manual…
It is commanded…
You must not fear your neighbor, but lovingly confront them:
17 “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.
“Paul was not a people-pleaser. He was a people-lover, and because of that he did not change his message according to what other might think. Only people-lovers are able to confront. Only people lovers are not controlled by other people” (Ed Welch, When People Are Big and God Is Small, 41).
“Counseling, as a life calling, is the task of elders. But God calls all other Christians to counsel too” (Adams, Insight and Creativity, 13).
See also Rom 15:14; Matt 28:18-20; 1 Thess 4:18, 5:11, 5:14; Heb 3:12-13
In order to learn the lessons yourself…
The counselor will grow tremendously. You will have to obey the implications of what you teach because stricter judgment awaits.
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
In order to receive the ultimate reward…
A counselor will receive a greater capacity to enjoy Christ for having followed Him in ministry.
A counselor will receive a greater capacity to enjoy Christ because he or she has seen, firsthand, the devastation of sin or delight of obedience.
A counselor will receive a greater capacity to enjoy Christ because Jesus was never manipulated, never gave up, never was cowardly, but was always courageous, compassionate and ever seeking to please God.
A counselor will receive a greater capacity to enjoy Christ because he or she will…
- See to a greater degree where has He perfectly obeyed and I have failed, and
- Praise Him for His perfection
Your “unfading crown of glory” will never dissipate. Your enjoyment of Jesus will never fade. You will know, to a greater degree, in part what He accomplished to perfection. Our passion at Rod and Staff Ministries is to train the saints to be biblical counselors. You are already counseling everyday. Would you consider learning how to do it biblically? Your reward, your capacity to enjoy Him, will be eternal and increased through your efforts in biblical counseling.
10,000 Blessings in The Wonderful Counselor,
Rod and Staff Ministries