God’s way can be described in Galatians 6:1. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” God’s way of counseling is the best way. In this verse God shows us the priority, purpose, people, and the process of his way.
Why is counseling so important? Should it be a priority? The answers to both of these questions can be found in the fact that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). Though the apostle Paul uses the word “if” here in Galatians 6:1, he really in essence is saying “when” a man is overtaken in a fault. It will happen. People will sin and get themselves into great difficulties because of the choices they make. Contrary to popular psychology, poor self-esteem does not make counseling a priority, but sin does. Because of the total depravity of man, counseling should be a priority. Sin always has consequences, and many times the consequences of sin are packaged in the form of relationship problems, financial problems, or some other great difficulty in life. Christians and non-Christians alike will have circumstances that need counsel, not because they are victims, but because they are sinners. Sin makes counseling a priority.
Counsel by definition is nothing more than help or advice, but what is it’s purpose? Is it simply to help people cope, or to escape certain feelings or pressures? The scripture is clear that the purpose of counseling is restoration. The word “restore” found in Galatians 6:1, has the idea of resetting a broken bone to productive use. Restoration is helping another person mend the broken relationship with God in their life so that they may be productive again. Sin is the source of all broken relationships. So in order to mend that broken relationship with God, one must know how to deal with sin. Is it possible for one sinner to help another sinner be restored to usefulness? Yes, it is possible but only through an external, fixed, and objective reference point. The Word of God is that reference point. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable” (II Tim 3:16). The goal of every counselor should be to restore the counsellee to usefulness in the body of Christ. The manual is the Bible.
Who are the people that should accomplish this task? “Ye which are spiritual, restore such an one” (Gal 6:1). For a person to be spiritual their must be salvation and sanctification. Every born again believer who is walking with the Lord, can be involved in the restoration process. However, a pastor has a special task of shepherding the flock. One of the ways a pastor should be shepherding is by counseling. This task should not be feared, but followed with great confidence in the Spirit of God and the Word of God.
This counseling should be done in a certain way. Gal 6:1 says ” In a spirit of meekness, considering thyself lest thou also be tempted.” The process begins with a heart of compassion for the counsellee. Meekness is strength under control. It is speaking the truth in love. True love will tell the truth, but truth must be packaged with the right spirit. The truth that must be spoken is the truth of the Word of God. Truth comes from Christ not the counselor. The counselor must also have a heart of contrition. He must think very deeply about his own life, and have a humble heart not a haughty one. This humility will take the confidence away from the person and place it on the power of God.
God’s way is far superior to man’s way, for God is Holy and man is sinful. Churches today must not rely on foolish psychological theories, but on the faithful penetrating truths of the scriptures. Though all seek to solve problems, Churches and Pastors should be skilled at solving problems through Biblical counsel. People are sinners that need to be restored by compassionate, contrite men who know the Lord and His Word.