When I’m first building a relationship with someone I’m counseling, it is common to hear frustration and weariness from them as they describe their challenges and circumstances.
In those early stages of counseling it is not obvious to them, or to me, what patterns of thought and belief might be compounding their challenges.
One of strengths of biblical counseling is its focus upon getting down to the level of the heart (Proverbs 20:5). I consider it a humbling privilege to assist someone in understanding and adjusting the attitudes of the heart, and I continue to be amazed at how Spirit-enabled heart change can radically transform what originally seemed to be incomprehensible challenges.
Each time I meet with a brother or sister in Christ, I am formulating heart x-ray questions to help clarify that understanding. Two questions I often begin with that can be phrased in different ways depending on the conversation, are these:
1) What do you want that you are not currently getting?
2) What are you currently getting or experiencing that you wish you weren’t?
The principle that my response to my circumstances is as important as the circumstances I find myself in is an important aspect of truly biblical counseling.
Consider, just for a moment, how differently you might counsel someone who is responding sinfully to being sinned against with a clear understanding of this truth.