Hope is essential in the counseling process. Biblical counseling could be simplified down to the process of giving hope and help from the Scriptures to affect God-glorifying change.
Typically we think of the counselor giving hope from the Scriptures to the counselee. But what about the counselor’s level of hope in their own heart? It is tough to give hope, if you don’t have it yourself. Certainly the counselor needs to have hope to be used as an instrument of giving hope.
Sometimes the counseling situation is so laden with sin, even the counselor’s hope has become weak. This has happened to me. If you have done much counseling, it probably has been your experience a time or two, also. In fact, I was just having lunch with a mature counselor whom I greatly respect. After describing a messy marriage, where there are grave sins being committed by both, he summarized his thoughts by saying, “This will never work!”
Let’s not kid ourselves. Counselors need hope too.
Sins Entangling Our Counselees That Can Discourage Counselors
A Scripture passage that the Spirit has used to give me hope as I begin the counseling process is 1 Corinthians 1:1-9. These verses are most helpful when considering the context of the whole letter. The sins of that church are some of the same ones that are entangling our counselees. Within the Corinthian church, there are these grave sins exposed:
- Unresolved conflict: 1:10-11
- Prideful arrogance: 4:18
- Sexual perversion, which includes sleeping with relatives: 5:1
- Suing others in the church: 6:6-7
- Getting drunk during the Lord’s Supper meal: 11:20-21
- Ignorance of God, which leads to sinful behavior: 15:34
Aren’t these some of the very same sins that plunge our hope quotient so low that it can go to zero when we focus on them in our counselees?
Blessings for Our Believing Counselees
But God, in the beginning of this first letter to the Corinthians, 1:1-9, has Paul remembering what God has done for each believer and His church. These believers have been:
- Sanctified and called saints: 1:2
- Given God’s grace: 1:4
- Enriched in Christ in every way: 1:5
- Called into a fellowship relationship with Christ: 1:9
These truths are also for each believer sitting right in front of us, even if their gross sin and others’ is making a mess of their lives and their witness for God.
Join the Conversation
How do you find hope from God as a counselor?