What Makes Christian Counseling Distinct?


Finding the right counselor goes beyond just having someone give you good advice. Friends offer advice to one another on a regular basis. We all find ourselves helping and supporting those we love through hard times. Biblical counseling takes authority of Scripture and helps individuals see how it works and is practical for their situation. Many Christians who are devoted to the Lord still feel stuck. They are doing everything that they know to do but they just cannot seem to move forward. There are steps to take that will break any unhealthy patterns. Therefore, if someone is feeling overwhelmed, sad, or fearful and is depending on alcohol, drugs, porn, or any other coping mechanism, it will not solve the problem. Christian counselors have a unique advantage of being able to approach issues holistically based on three dimensions – body, mind, and spirit. Perhaps some counseling approaches miss the spiritual dimension. A biblical understanding of how we are made, as physical, psychological, and spiritual beings, means all three dimensions play an important part in one’s health, peace, and happiness.

Understanding A Biblical View of People

At the heart of Embracing His Call, is a Biblical view of people. We see “every person is uniquely created in the image of God”, Genesis 1:27. We also understand that we live in a fallen world and that sin has entered humanity, as a result of trials, tribulations, and that sin affects everyone, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23. Sin is real and it causes pain and dysfunction everywhere—in our minds, bodies, families, relationships, and environment. The Biblical worldview involves more than just patching together verses here and there but provides a broader and deeper understanding that is both spiritual and practical. It’s a worldview based on God’s unchanging Word, “He is the same yesterday, today and forevermore,” Hebrews 13:8. Since God is the creator of everything in heaven and on earth, He is the standard of truth. “Jesus said, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” John 14:6. It is not just treating the symptoms but getting to the root of how the enemy had the legal right to come to steal, kill and destroy. This underlying Biblical View is that Jesus came to destroy the works of the enemy so that all may lead a long, happy abundant life, John 10:10. This truth is the foundation that guides and shapes Christian counseling. The biblical narrative tells us who we are, why we’re here, how we exist in relationship to God, and how to understand and overcome the many hardships we experience in this life.


Building an Intentional, Caring Relationship

A Christian approach to counseling is primarily forming a safe, nonjudgmental environment for clients. Since we were created to live before and with God and each other, we engage in an intentional, trusting relationship that respects where individuals are spiritually and emotionally. Empathic listening is at the heart of facilitating a relationship. We hear our client’s heart with a personal kind of listening and desire to create a compassionate exchange. For example, a couple came in for marriage counseling. After a discussion, it was noted that previous counselor had given coping mechanisms and set marriage goals but had not met the spiritual differences. His spiritual checklist revealed he had been looking to other sources rather than God to meet a need. He had pursued occult games, New Age teaching and other false guidance. His spiritual foundation conflicted with his wife. Her foundation was built on the Word of God. After examining the foundation of both beliefs, they were able to come to a mutual spiritual agreement. Our desire is to help people overcome, recover, discern, forgive, and to walk in victory. Therefore, we use biblical tools so clients may take charge of their personal world and walk in freedom.

Discerning and Respecting the Whole Individual

We hold to an ethical standard; we are all creatively and wonderfully different and made in the image of God. As Christian counselors, we respect individual’s different belief systems; therefore, we listen to hear rather than to respond. It’s our job to encourage individuals to be a researcher of truth and to give direction and hope in their thinking and decision making. Our purpose is to address both the external behavior and the interior heart. For example, a female client sought help for overeating having unsuccessfully tried dozens of weight-loss diets over the years. This to be understood and dealt with by getting to the root of this behavior. If we dealt with simply suggesting behavioral change, dealing with her bad habits and boosting her self-esteem, we just put a band aid on the problem and have not identified the root. We take time to ask open ended questions. Through careful investigation and prayer, a deep issue surfaced, then we could deal with the deeply entrenched rejection and anger.


As Christian Counselors, we share three goals: To guide the counselee in identifying and stating the problem, to provide scriptural insight for dealing with the problem, to help the counselee find answers to challenges through the application of scriptural principles and to promote biblical change that will transform lives. We are so humbled that God would so graciously include us in His Kingdom purpose. Serving people through the teaching of His Word and renewing hope and purpose is truly our joy.

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Find Your Purpose

Build a Meaningful Life

If you are experiencing a lack of purpose in your life, you may feel constantly bored, dissatisfied, or empty, like life has no meaning. There is always hope when we learn to think differently. Your purpose in life is as unique to you as your fingerprint. We all have a particular set of goals, values, talents, experiences, skill sets, and interests that light us up. It is why you get up each morning, it is your reason for being and goals set for your future.

To find your purpose, begin by defining what you value. Value has to do with how much something is worth or what you are holding in high regard. For example, if you value someone’s opinion you will ask that person’s advice before deciding. To value is to understand a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life and HOW we want to live our life. Values are like a compass that keep us headed in a desired direction and are distinct from goals. When you value the principles in the bible, you will use them as your guide. For example, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them,” Matthew 7:12. Because you value a spiritual rule, “You reap what you sow,” Galatians 6:7-8, you choose to forgive the offender. It is a spiritual law; a seed in your spiritual ground when you fall short, someone will forgive you. Therefore, values are chosen qualities of being and doing, such as being a forgiving friend, caring parent, remaining loyal, honest in business, and/or courageous during challenges.

Interestingly, values are not goals. Goals are finite; they are achievements, and once you reach the goal, you are finished with them. After running a marathon, your goal was reached. Then new goals are set. Values are enduring, eternal guides to living. You cannot achieve a value; you can only manifest it by acting in accordance with it. “Bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come,” 1 Timothy 4:8. Therefore, physical conditioning is important, but godliness (the quality or practice of conforming to the laws and wishes of God) has lasting value for all things and holding promise for both the present life and the eternal life to come.

Albert Einstein said, “Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” His wisdom lines up with purposes found in the bible, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you…” Jeremiah 1:5. God reveals that when he creates a person it is from a plan that he has developed before he began forming them “in the womb.” He not only knows what he is going to make, he knows the person as though they have already been made. He plans us according to his purposes for us and his plans to glorify himself by our lives. When we come to know him, it is comforting to understand this great truth more and more.

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To find your purpose and value the gifting God has given you, begin by developing a positive mindset founded in God’s Word. “You can do all things through Christ…,” Philippians,” 4:13. Embrace challenges as opportunities. A personal vision statement can help you find purpose, manage stress, and find balance in life.

1. Determine your vision statement will line up with God’s Word, “Go into all the world….,” Mark 15:16. That means to live with purpose and to share the good news.

2. Project your goals for the future. Imagine you in five or ten years. The following question can help you clarify your vision:

          • Where can you be beneficial to someone?
          • What can you realistically achieve?
          • What problems will you solve?
          • What changes can you make for individuals?

3. Keep it short and simple. For example, “Through biblically-based counseling, I will guide individuals to discover freedom and to support all to become who they were created and redeemed to be.”

Your values not only tell you where to focus your efforts and energies but also provide you with a new source of motivation. The pain you have had to endure along your journey becomes much easier to bear when it is in the service of your goals and values. By acting in line with your heart’s deepest desires, it brings a sense of fulfilment and vitality that no material wealth can match. May the Lord continue to bless you and increase your sphere of influence as you determine your purpose that will line up with God’s perfect plan in living a meaningful life. I Chronicles 4:10.

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