Counseling is the applying of God’s active and living word to the lives of troubled sinners so that they may be transformed by His power. There need not be any relationship between Scripture and modern psychology in counseling. Scripture is all-sufficient. There is no crisis of the soul too great for the power of God’s word. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart”(Heb.4:12). Scripture penetrates and opens up the soul, it reveals and lays bare the heart, and it convicts us and judges our innermost hidden thoughts, thereby accomplishing what psychoanalysis will never accomplish. Modern psychology, which has made massive inroads into the church, knows no scriptural counterpart. Not in the science of the mind but rather in Christ Himself, says Scripture, “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). The Lord is our “Counselor” (Isa.9:6), and He is all we need. “Our sufficiency is from God” (2Cor.3:5); it is not from men. We do not need Scripture plus human wisdom. Divine wisdom is all we need to deal with all of life’s deepest problems. The Bible says that “God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed” (2 Cor. 9:8). That says it all. The grace of God leaves no room for want. People fall into anxiety and depression and all sorts of emotional problems dwelling on themselves rather than on God and on whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent, and worthy of praise (Philip.4:8). Modern psychology has taught us to dwell on ourselves, to foster self-esteem, and to turn off our conscience in order to rid self of negative feelings such as guilt and inadequacy. Conversely, the word of God says to take self and to kill it, to crucify it according to Romans 6:6 and Galatians 5:24. Ephesians 4:22 commands us to “lay aside” self. Our Lord taught that “if anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me; for whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it” (Luke 9:23-24). Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me” (Gal.2:20). So rather than turn to human wisdom to help us focus on ourselves, get in touch with our inner child, or boost our self-esteem, we are to disown ourselves, get in touch with the Lord Jesus Christ, and be transformed by His word. The word of God is not lifeless and inoperative but rather living and active and performing the work of God in us who believe. Paul wrote to the believers in Thessalonica that they were cause for thanksgiving to God because “when you received from us the word of God’s message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe” (1Thes. 2:13). The living word of God performs its work, and it is all-sufficient in the area of counseling. The Christian counselor should despise human opinion including that of his own, exalt the effectual word of God, and bring those in need of godly counsel to the divine Counselor by taking His active word to them.

Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
O send out Thy light and Thy truth, let them lead me;
Let them bring me to Thy holy hill,
And to Thy dwelling places.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God my exceeding joy;
And upon the lyre I shall praise Thee, O God, my God.
Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why are you disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him,
The help of my countenance, and my God. (Psalm 43:2-5)