Admittedly, this post will be as uncomfortable as its title. But, then again, counseling is about very uncomfortable things. The concern I want to discuss is the tendency to assume that biblical principles like those found in I Corinthians 10:13 mean that all our struggles carry the same weight. The unintended consequence can be that abusive relationships receive the same counsel as garden-variety arguments and instances of low impulse control receive the same guidance as manic episodes.
Skilled cardiologists make sharp distinctions in diagnosing a possible wide spectrum of heart problems. Skilled counselors as soul physicians must do the same. Let’s consider three biblical distinctions concerning guilt. Continue reading
Jim’s wife of eight years, Rachael, was shocked to discover he’d been regularly viewing Internet porn for about two months. In all their years together, he had seemed like an upright Christian man with strong morals. After Jim had started meeting with their pastor, Paul, he’d stopped viewing Internet porn. So, Rachael and Pastor Paul were surprised and dismayed all over again when they learned Jim had gone to an adult bookstore to purchase pornographic material in print, instead!
Suppose, however, that Jim reports incredible shame over his behavior at this point. Continue reading
Irreversible decisions are the hardest to live with. You know you’ve done wrong, but it is too late to undo it. Now you must live with the consequences, whatever they may be. But how? Do you beat yourself up forever? Do you live in a state of habitual sullenness? Do you become bitter toward others or God? The pain of regret and the constant nagging of a conscience that knows you have sinned and been foolish have the potential of crippling you forever. Is this how it must be, or is there a better way? Continue reading
Sinful choices can become a slippery slope too. One sinful choice may slide into another, reminiscent of Psalm 1:1; then the Christian may face a problem she helped create: a marital separation, an addiction, a lost job, anxiety, depression, bitterness. Her problem might cause enough angst to bring her to your counseling office, looking for relief. But relief isn’t the real answer is it? Relief is among the world’s counterfeits for mankind’s greatest and truest need—the gospel. Continue reading
According to the apostle Paul, no matter who you are or where you come from, you have always been and always will be a slave—either a slave to sin which leads to death or a slave to righteousness which leads to eternal life. Continue reading
Are we really going to talk about gluttony at this time of the year? Do we have to? Yes, we need to talk about it, and if your instinct is to think this discussion can only be a “guilt trip,” then we need to talk about it all the more. Continue reading
This short story is not intended to be a model for counseling; nor is it a picture of all that is needed for counsel in the lives of people with such trauma. But it does illustrate how thanksgiving is a powerful tool in God’s arsenal of weapons for our fight against the sin that comes out of us and that comes at us. Continue reading
As you study Ezra 9-10, you discover 5 wonderful truths about confession. The first 3 have to do with the “private” side of confession, and the last 2 deal with what takes place “publicly” in confession. Continue reading
Each Friday our BCC staff links you to the top 5 biblical counseling and Christian living blog posts of the week—posts that provide robust, rich, and relevant insights for living. Continue reading