Life is hard. Unemployment, divorce, and financial insecurity can be heavy burdens to carry alone. Oftentimes, we reach out to family and friends for support. Sometimes, however, we may need the help of a professional counselor.
While all counselors go through intense and in-depth training, no two are the same. Each counselor will employ their own methods and hold their own worldview that impacts how they work. As Christians, should our counselor’s worldview matter? As a Christian counselor, how does your worldview affect your work with clients?
Secular counselors can indeed be a strong pillar of support in turbulent times, but a Christian counselor offers special support based on the love and truth of Christ. If you’re a Christian seeking counseling or a Christian counselor yourself, here are five characteristics to be on the lookout for that embody a great Christian counselor.
- Love: “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2. As Christians, God calls upon us to share the burdens of others; in times of crisis especially. Your Christian counselor will carry, invest in, and care for your burdens throughout your tribulation.
- Honor: “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” Romans 12:10. Scripture calls us to walk with those that hurt with honor and integrity. Christian counselors strike the perfect balance between therapeutical duties and an alliance with faith. Your counselor will embody Godly honor by treating you with love and respect.
- Faith: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. Effective faith counseling involves the spiritual pillars of faith, prayer, and worship. Faith drives your counselor to the conviction that through the hope of God, you can overcome your tribulations by helping you place your faith in Him. Christian counselors understand that God wants us to be whole, and your counselor will help bare your burdens to help you succeed through faith.
- Compassion: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32. When witnessing the deepest parts of a person, their shame or their guilt, Christian counselors must wield compassion for broken people made in God’s image.
- Humility: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” James 4:6. A humble heart is at the core of every Christian counselor. Caring for people that come from a vulnerable place demands a humble personage so that through faith, you can be lifted up.
These five elements of a Christian counselor are grounded in scripture and at the center of every follower of Christ. An effective counselor will be a catalyst for God’s love and help you triumph through your tribulation by utilizing these five characteristics.