Picture a classroom of 9-year-olds. One boy slumps low in his chair, sneaking peeks at Snapchat. Nearby three girls in matching Katy Perry t-shirts steal glances at the “weird” new girl. The “weird” girl looks at the rain, her stare blank. Could one of these children one day fit the label of personality disorder? Perhaps. However, the Bible doesn’t use the term personality disorder. In fact, Scripture says the point of counseling is change in personality and behavior. So what does a biblical counselor do with a personality disorder label? Continue reading
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