Competent to Counsel? Really?

One of our amazing young ladies, Leah Humphrey, just began an internship at DSC dealing with biblical counseling and psychology. As a text, she’s reading through Jay Adams’ Competent to Counsel. First off, she’s doing a great job understanding the heart of the issue, that is, creation-fall-redemption as the principal motif in dealing with the ails of the human psyche. Starting points decipher conclusions, and this study has reminded me once more that there is perhaps no more obvious outworking of underlying presuppositions than when we deal cautiously with the fragile human mind. Second, her passion for helping others recalls the title of Adam’s book, that God has gifted his saints to the ministry of his word, one to another, as we love each other with the sanctifying proclamation of the truth.

Just this afternoon a man called our church wanting prayer. A self proclaimed schizophrenic, F (as he shall be called) was eager for counsel. Of course, one must discern carefully between those cases requiring immediate medical attention and those that can be dealt with in house. But I was so encouraged by the reminder that by God’s spirit and with his word WE, yes lowly us, are truly able to offer solid biblical advice with humble authority. I want to encourage us all to remember that God’s word has an answer. Not just an answer available to those with professional degrees, but a response to all the difficulties of life that a lay person can communicate. May this truth increase God in our minds and remind us always of both our need, his sufficiency, and our call to serve the hurting ones around us.

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2 responses to “Competent to Counsel? Really?

  1. christopherlake

    God’s word does indeed have an answer! I was depressed for fifteen years, most of them as a non-Christian (and a few more as a confused Christian, with not-so-good theology). Some of those years were better than others, and some were, honestly, almost unendurable. The point being that psychology didn’t bring me out of a seemingly impenetrable darkness that I sometimes thought would last for the rest of my life. God brought me out of it– Him and His word. Sound Biblical teachers also played a huge role. Never underestimate what you may be doing in someone’s life by lovingly speaking Biblical truth to him/her, even if the initial reaction is confusion and/or rejection. God *will* use His truth for His purpose in His time. This may not may not mean a quick lifting of a person’s emotional/mental struggles, especially if that person is unsaved (first things first!) or a poorly taught Christian. However, the truth of God’s sovereign, active, ruling love *is* ultimately the answer to our broken hearts and minds. Medication may well help with some particular struggles, but God’s word has the deepest answer for our deepest brokenness (fallenness) and for the problems that result from it.

  2. christopherlake

    oops, sorry for the typo in the ninth sentence!

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