Why Does Fort Worth Need Biblical Counseling?
by Pastor Ryan Keeney and Jalea Seals
Fort Worth needs wise love.
Wise love is my favorite shorthand definition for biblical counseling. Wise love is studying the bible and studying people. Then we bring the two together—we bring the wisdom of Scripture, the truth of the Bible, and the good news of Jesus to bear on the thoughts, affections, and will of a person. Wise love is speaking the comfort and call of the gospel to suffering sinners and sinning sufferers. It is loving others with deep understanding, keen discernment, and sound judgment. It is a way of speaking what is true and constructive into this person’s life right now.
Fort Worth needs wise love because the question is not “are we being counseled?” but “what are we being counseled with?”
“All of human life is by definition counseling. ‘The tongue’ is a counseling instrument. Every human interaction, from the most trivial to the most formal, arises from the nexus of meanings, values, and intentions that controls the hearts of the participants. You live or die based on the counsel you listen to—and the counsel you give. Counseling is not just for those who ‘need counseling.’ It’s not just something that ‘professional counselors’ do with ‘counselees.’ You can’t escape being involved in the Bible’s view of the counseling process. It’s happening all the time, whether you know it or not, whether you want it or not. You are doing it to others; others are doing it to you—today, every day, informally, and (very occasionally) formally.”—David Powlison, Affirmation and Denials: A Proposed Definition of Biblical Counseling
Fort Worth needs the Bible.
We believe the Bible is more than a book of facts; its truths are meant to make a difference in our lives. God intends biblical truth to touch and transform every area of our lives. But everyone faces moments when the truths of the Bible do not seem to make a difference. “Can the hope that the Bible offers really speak to my depression?” “Can the peace that the Bible leads us to really help my anxiety?” “Can the love that is revealed in the Bible change even my marriage?” We believe that the Bible speaks into all of life’s problems, and in certain seasons of life each of us may need the careful thought and prayerful wisdom of another to help us make the connections that make a difference.
The Bible speaks to every area of our lives, but the Bible isn’t simply a recipe book for happiness. Ultimately, the Bible points us to a relationship with a person – Jesus Christ. The Bible was given to reveal Christ as the one who is able to make all things new. We believe real and lasting change occurs when people know themselves and their problems within a living and vital relationship with Jesus Christ.
It’s about a relationship.
Fort Worth needs a relationship with Jesus.
Most people seek counsel desiring change, change in circumstances, emotions or momentum of life. We believe lasting change, biblical change is a relational act. It is more than a change in circumstances it is encountering, meeting, speaking to, considering, hearing from, trusting, worshipping, asking for help, believing, and thanking Jesus. Change is a relational act.
No other model of change or approach to counseling—besides a biblical one—has worship as the goal. Biblical counseling wants that worship, everything you seek to do, to end on loving and enjoying God.
The biblical change process is not self-referential but moves us out of ourselves. It is not all about you. It’s not to fully understand yourself. Or fully come to terms with who you are. Or just accept your flaws. That is self-referential. Change is a relational act. The goal is not to remember a truth or even our identity but to turn to Jesus.
Our hope for Fort Worth is to use biblical counseling as a:
“God-centered, Bible-saturated, emotionally-in-touch use of language to help people become God-besotted, Christ-exalting, joyfully self-forgetting lovers of people. It is teaching truth (1 Thess. 4:14-18). It has to do with knowledge, it has to do with our mouth, it has to do with doctrine, it has to do with the nature of God-communicated in a way that changes hearers. At the heart of biblical counseling is a sense of being loved, helping people to become loving people, and understanding how God loves us-sinners that we are.”—John Piper, Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling
Fort Worth needs biblical counseling.