You may have heard the word “sufficient” used to describe the Bible’s level of competence for counseling. The word speaks of being adequate for its purpose. Hearing that definition may lead you to think something like, “That doesn’t sound very powerful. It sounds like Scripture is ‘just barely good enough’ to counsel, as if it just narrowly makes the qualifying cut.” Thinking this way would probably lead anyone to question whether the Bible alone is enough, and whether it really can get the job done as the foundation of counseling. If you have ever asked yourself these things, Scripture has answers for you; God’s Word defends itself against these questions of doubt.
Since the Bible contains in every word, from cover to cover, the thoughts and words of God to us, we must recognize its supremacy to all human wisdom. God declares in Isaiah 55:9 that “as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” In 1 Corinthians 3:19-20 we read that “the wisdom of this world is folly with God,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” Clearly, Scripture is fully superior in every way to worldly wisdom.
As Creator of all things, God understands our struggles better than anyone ever could. Not only this, but Christ also endured our hardships by taking on flesh and living among us in a sinful world. As is written in Hebrews 4:15-16, “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” His wisdom and discernment regarding our struggles in life is so much greater than our own; therefore we must seek the instruction of His Word in order to “receive mercy and find grace” in our time of need.
In summary, the Bible is not only perfectly sufficient for counseling, it is also superior to any and all human solutions. To say that Scripture is sufficient for counseling means that it is fully capable of accomplishing the task, it is not lacking in anything. This foundational truth is confirmed in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, which tells us that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” With Scripture and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we’re fully equipped to live in a way that’s pleasing to Him, which is our goal in counseling and all of life.
While God is faithful to change hearts and minds in the lives of His children, we also understand that change is a process, and often times far from simplistic or quick. Habits of life and thinking tend to change over time as the Holy Spirit works in hearts. This process of change is called “progressive sanctification.” It can be helpful and sometimes necessary to seek help from other Christians who can faithfully lead and walk with us, providing biblical encouragement and instruction along the way for the implementation of God-honoring, Christ-centered change. If you are struggling with life’s challenges, we would encourage you to seek help from your pastor, a godly friend, or a biblical counselor who is committed to seeking answers from God’s Word. To find a biblical counselor you can contact us or visit biblicalcounseling.com to find a counselor in your area.
Born and raised in the Dallas area, Ryan loves calling Texas his home. He met his wife Jessica at Grace Bible Fellowship Church, where he serves on staff and is a counselor for Grace Biblical Counseling Ministries. Since 2013 he has been a member of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, and in May 2015 he graduated from Moody Bible Institute with a B.S. in Ministry Leadership.