The basic problem of man lies with their heart. It is naturally deceitful and wicked (Jer. 17:9). However, the heart is also impacted by that which it is nourished. Hence, if I nourish my heart with things such as peace and love, such things will grow within my heart. Over time, they will produce a treasure in my heart that reflects its kind; it will be exhibited through my behavior and way of life (Matt 12:35; 15:18-19). Therefore, it is my responsibility to exercise discipline in nourishing my heart with things that are good and producing good treasure. Additionally, in exercising discipline, I will be guarding my heart from things which are evil as well as restricting issues of life from arising from within it (Prov. 4:23).
Knowing that man’s basic problem lies with their heart, it would impact my practice of biblical counseling by holding me accountable to God towards addressing all issues that a counselee may present to me. There may be strong emotions, challenging thoughts, and perhaps a challenging past that is tied to the presented issues of the counselee. Nonetheless, I am compelled to begin my work by first addressing all matters of the heart; in particular those which pertain to a relationship with God.
If a person who presents themselves before me lies outside of Christ, I am compelled to evangelize Christ to them. Outside of Christ, His Word will not make sense to them; it would be foolishness (1 Co. 1:18). Some people may present the argument that I could present words of encouragement that would produce positive emotions, and the counselee would feel good. Others may present the argument that I could present techniques to help the counselee’s change their thought process from negative to positive thinking. Although these things are good, they would be a façade in comparison to the true healing and restoration that lies within the power of God (1 Co. 1:18).
On the contrary, when I evangelize Christ to them, and they accept Him as Lord and Savior, they will begin a process of healing and restoration. Additionally, their restoration would not be limited to my work and time with them, but it will continue between our meeting times as well as during their times by which they meet with God through prayer, worship, and study of the bible. It will be continued through the power of God working within their lives.
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R. A. Gómez