I Go to Counseling
I used to think counseling was for people who need help. Now I know counseling is for people who need help. I’m one of those people.
I need help. I have problems. Problems that I tried to fix on my own. I tried really hard to fix those problems. I did all I knew to do. I prayed. I memorized scripture. I read my Bible. I listened to sermons.
But my problems got worse. I finally realized I couldn’t help myself. So I decided to go to counseling and get help from someone else. It’s ended up being a life-changing decision.
Here’s why I’m a major supporter of counseling:
1. Counseling is biblical.
Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.” Proverbs, the book of wisdom, has a lot to say about seeking counsel. Why? Because we need it! As the verse says, our way often seems right, but it’s not. It’s the way of a fool. This is why we need other people to help point us in the right direction.
Generally, everyone needs Godly, biblical advice and counsel. But sometimes, we may need special, intensive counseling for a particular struggle. We need someone who we can regularly go to, someone who can bear our burdens, and someone who has been especially gifted and called to deal with tough situations. Praise God that He has provided those people for His church! Going to counseling is the biblical way to deal with your struggles.
2. Counseling is humbling.
The real reason so many don’t go to counseling is because they are stubborn and prideful. That was me. I truly believed I didn’t need any help and shouldn’t need any help. “I’ve helped lots of people, surely I can help myself. I’m a pastor for crying out loud.” But the more I dug in my heels, the deeper I sank into the ground. My pride only made things worse. I placed more pressure on myself to fix things. And when I couldn’t fix things, I went into panic mode and ended up in despair.
But counseling humbled me. There’s something about sitting down face to face with someone and exposing your deepest struggles that both knocks you down and picks you back up. It’s difficult at first, but man, it’s such a relief. I could finally stop pretending, stop running, and stop carrying this weight on my own. I humbled myself, cried out for help, and you know what I found? The very thing God promises the humble, grace.
James 4:6 says, “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’”
3. Counseling is heart-changing.
A good counselor looks below the surface and into a person’s heart. Proverbs 4:23 says the springs of our life flow from our heart. According to scripture, your heart is the control-center of your life. It guides your thoughts, emotions, and actions. Through counseling, I discovered some unseen issues in my heart, issues that explained the biggest struggles in my life.
A good counselor also seeks to help people change their heart, not just their behavior. So often, people only want to address the problems they see on the outside, instead of getting to the root on the inside. I initially went to counseling for anxiety. While I was there, I discovered some things in my heart that were actually causing me to struggle with anxiety. Counseling helped me to see that true life-change happens from the inside out.
These are three reasons why I wholeheartedly recommend counseling. I specifically recommend biblical, Christ-centered counseling. I found a counselor through an organization called the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. You can learn more about them and find a counselor near you on their website, biblicalcounseling.com.