Involvement and Biblical Counseling -- By: Wayne A. Mack

Journal: Masters Seminary Journal
Volume: TMSJ 05:1 (Spring 1994)
Article: Involvement and Biblical Counseling
Author: Wayne A. Mack


Involvement and Biblical Counseling1

Wayne A. Mack

Professor of Biblical Counseling

Attempts at biblical counseling sometimes neglect the important factor of establishing a facilitative relationship between the counselor and the counselee. Such a relationship can come through a demonstrated compassion such as Jesus and Paul had for people they ministered to, a compassion that is possible for the counselor to develop through controlling his thoughts. The necessary involvement can also develop if the counselor follows certain guidelines in showing respect for his counselee. The facilitative relationship is also possible when built on the foundation of sincerity, when the counselee realizes that the counselor is perfectly honest and has no hidden agenda. The substance of the counsel given is of greatest importance, but the involvement of the counselor with his counselee is most frequently the packaging that makes his advice effective in helping people.

* * * * *

Biblical counseling seeks to solve people’s problems. It is about discovering the causes of those problems and then applying biblical principles to them. Sometimes even the best-intentioned counselors err, however, by trying to attain these goals without an attempt to incorporate an indispensable element. That element is involvement with the person counseled.2

Consider the approach of a counselor described by Adams:

Clara comes to you stating that she has filed for divorce on the grounds of mental and bodily cruelty.
Clara returns for the third session. “I tried to get him here but he had other things to do,” she begins. “You know what his other things are, of course. I told you all of them.”
“I don’t want to hear such charges behind Marty’s back,” you respond. “This continuing hostility toward him, even though you told him you forgave him, seems to indicate that you made little or no attempt to bury the issue and start afresh. I don’t think that you understand forgiveness. You…”
“Forgive him! You know there is a limit. After he has beat me, and his drinking away our money maybe, but when I came home and found him in my bed with that woman, I can never bury that! He is just an immature, immoral, animalistic pig,” she declares.
You tell her that it will be necessary for her to change her language about her husband and that you are here to help but not to salve her self-righteous attitude and listen to her ever-increasing charges against her husband.
“Why are you siding with him? I’m the one that belongs to th...

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