Last evening, at the opening session of the annual leadership retreat of the Biblical Counseling Coalition, David Powlison of CCEF challenged us from the Word of God. Specifically, he drew us to Jesus’ letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3. David exposed for us the pastoral insight of the Son of God into the life and soul of his church. Jesus sees the good (and affirms it), the hard (the life context of the sinner sufferer), and the bad (the sin and disobedience). This was a blessed look at the soul care of the Good Shepherd.
As David wrapped up his challenge he then described what happens in the minds and hearts of those with whom we counsel the Word. When our counseling is working, doing its job, those whom we counsel will normally encounter some of the following surprises.
Surprises of Biblical Counseling
- People are surprised by your humility, that you are a fellow sinner/sufferer/struggler who can relate with their situation
- People are surprised that you genuinely care for them and their spiritual welfare.
- People are surprised by you asking the kinds of questions that are seeking and revealing.
- People are surprised when what you say and do is relevant.
- People are surprised when the God of grace Himself comes into view in the midst of their situation.
- People are surprised when you help them find small practical acts of obedience to move them forward, rather than a large overwhelming task.
- People are surprised at finding out that you as a counselor are willing to be patient with a slow process of change.
As those who are growing in our love and ability to counsel the Word to one another, let us refocus on Christ, the ultimate pastor, and continue to be surprised by biblical counseling.