“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13.
When I was presented with the opportunity to serve others by becoming a Certified Biblical Counselor, I was honestly unsure if it was God calling me, or if it was just my selfish way of finding a way to show off my biblical knowledge, or rather what I think I know. However, on the prompting of other godly people that I trust, and the Holy Spirit, with verses like the one above, I decided to at least complete the Fundamentals portion of the ACBC certification track. And then I would determine if it was God truly calling me to continue the pursuit of becoming certified. I was, at first, a bit hesitant (a huge understatement), as I had never considered this before, nor did I realize that this was an opportunity to be had until shortly before it came about. I had never given much thought to the existence of Biblical Counseling, much less that God would me into this role.
I had never counseled in the past, nor been counseled, so I was unsure exactly what would be required of me. I had never had the opportunity to take part in any type of discipleship that would positively affect people’s lives in so great a manner(which I learned about through the process). So, I went into the process wondering if I was properly equipped to counsel others during some of their darkest days. Through verses such as Luke 12:12 and the teaching in the fundamentals portion, I soon realized that Biblical Counseling is simply one sinner listening to another sinner, then helping that person listen to what the Holy Spirit is telling them through God’s Word. When I realized this is what true Biblical Counseling is, God spoke to my heart and caused me to understand that it is not me doing the counseling, instead it is the Holy Spirit. All I must do is listen to Him and speak the words He gives me. The Biblical Counselor is simply the conduit who helps the one seeking counsel to hear what the Spirit has to say about their specific situation. After learning this, my feelings of inadequacy all but disappeared.
As I progressed through the fundamentals, the observations, and the reading, I realized that becoming a Biblical Counselor was something for which I was developing a passion. Or, to put it more accurately, I found that God was working in my heart and giving me the passion to serve others by helping guide them through some of their toughest times in life, as a Certified Biblical Counselor. One of the key verses ACBC uses as their guide for serving others is Romans 8:28-29: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” I have found that in studying the Word to give proper counsel to others, I have been blessed with greater wisdom, knowledge, and confidence to share what the Spirit has given me with those who are sitting before me in the counseling room (Proverbs 1:2-6), conforming me more to the image of Christ as I am attempting to help others do the same. Many times, I have not experienced the situation for which the counselee is seeking help, but I am still able to offer the proper counsel as I rely on the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to guide me in helping them.
In the end, the answer to the question of why I wanted to pursue this certification lies in the commandment of God to “go therefore and make disciples…” (Matthew 28:19). Becoming a Certified Biblical Counselor is simply the manner to which God has called me to allow me to follow this great commandment that He gives to all believers. No, becoming a Certified Biblical Counselor could not be counted as going to the “end of the earth,” (Acts 1:8) to accomplish this mission. However, it is going into one’s own Jerusalem – into my Jerusalem – to disciple other sinners, one person at a time, using the power of God’s Word to change lives for an eternal purpose. This, to me, is the true essence of why Biblical Counseling exists and why I chose to seek certification. So, if you are looking for somewhere to serve where you can directly affect other believers’ lives, that offers positive and eternal results, I would urge you to at least research and consider the Biblical Counseling Ministry at WPBC. It may be a good fit for you! You may be surprised, as I was, at how God works in your life and in your heart to give you a passion for helping other people.