The Span of Biblical Counseling

Red Barn Close - ShelliBourque

King David wrote the 23rd Psalm with the imagery of a shepherd caring for his sheep, for he was a shepherd-boy before God anointed him king. Jesus told Peter and Andrew he would make them fishers of men, for they were fishermen before leaving their trade to follow Christ. Visual imagery is found throughout scripture, and as long as we understand the image, we gain clearer understanding of the greater truth the image represents.

As a photographer, I cannot help but spot the words that have meaning in both photography and our walk with Christ. As believers, we look at life through the lens of scripture. We understand that we are being made into the image of Christ. And in order to change we must focus on the heart.

Often people have a very narrow view of biblical counseling. They zoom in their lens on specific instances (overwhelming problems), a particular setting (an office), for a set period of time (until the problem is fixed).

I want you to mentally grab your camera and zoom out on the lens; choose the wide-angle or landscape setting to bring a larger view in focus. Ah, now you’ll be able to see it better.

Red Barn Far - ShelliBourque

Biblical counseling has its scriptural foundation in passages such as Hebrews 3:12-13:

Watch out, brothers, so that there won’t be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that departs from the living God.  But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception. [Hebrews 3:12-13 HCSB]

The word encourage comes from the Greek transliteration parakaleō, which is a wide-angle word with a broad span of meaning:

  • admonish or exhort (a strong word of warning);
  • beg, entreat, or beseech (a plea to listen);
  • console, encourage, or comfort (a tender word of comfort);
  • strengthen, instruct, or teach.*

The root literally means “to call to one’s side”; it is coming alongside someone to give help. We can exercise parakaleō through counseling, discipling, and mentoring. Even teaching and preaching are forms of parakaleō in a public setting.

Personally, I’ve decided parakaleō is my new favorite word, for it represents a beautiful ministry within the body of Christ.

* Source

About Shelli Bourque

An ordinary girl living by the grace of life in Christ. Adoring wife and mom. Lover of quiet places and uncluttered spaces. Beauty seeker and image maker.