In today’s episode, the guys talk about the importance of Christian counseling. Christian counseling is one means by which we may look at ourselves and our health in a holistic way; that is, from physical, spiritual, and mental lenses. While people looking for counsel need to follow advice that Ray offers to read the Bible and obey what they read, they also need to understand that physical and mental realities impact overall well-being. Counseling, the guys go on to explain, is a modern-day need. It has not always been available, and Christians have lived for centuries without it. However, the shift to modernity (and the isolation modernity fosters) has not been good for the human soul, and has created the need for a dedicated space for focused conversation on matters of the heart. These conversations do not all need to take place in formal counseling contexts, though. At its core, Christian counseling is simply Christians talking together, speaking truth to one another, and exhorting one another.
Not all counseling calls itself “Christian,” and even church counseling can be unhelpful. The guys dive into what to look for and what to avoid in counseling, first warning against the dangers of secular counseling. Secular counseling lacks a foundational sense of human nature, sin, and the remedy of the gospel. It also tends to either offer no constructive input at all or point the counselee inward to the self. Church counseling can go awry, as well, by taking a “just stop it” approach to helping people. What people truly need is counseling that gets to the heart, seeing where they may be harboring idols and how the gospel applies to their lives and struggles. The guys offer extensive counseling resources to explore, run through counseling principles, and explain why they espouse a counseling model called nouthetic counseling. Nouthetic counseling involves “confronting a friend” and leads the guys to their final charge to listeners: do the work of counselors simply by speaking truth and wisdom into others’ lives!