In Biblical Counseling, as in the rest of life, we fear failing. Before we start counseling one of our biggest fears is failing.
If we are honest, even after counseling for years we can fear failure. There are things about counseling that make fear a difficult thing to shake. We are trying to help people at their most vulnerable point. They are sharing things with us that they have never shared with anyone. We are helping them overcome some of the hardest things they have ever gone through. We are meeting them at a time they are desperate and possibly feel as though they are at rock bottom. Talk about pressure! No wonder we are afraid. So what do we do to overcome the fear of failure as a Biblical Counselor?
- Realize we will fail – You. Will. Fail. You will not always turn to the Bible and will use your own wisdom. You will forget to pray for and with your counselee. You will forget what homework you gave them last session. You will misquote verses. You will give them counsel that they will follow and it will blow up in their face. We are sinners counseling sinners in a sinful and fallen world. Our own sin, inexperience and fallen brains will make mistakes. When we realize this, it is freeing! It reminds us of our need for Grace. It makes us dependent and prayerful and we remember that we need to be saturated in God’s word and walking in his spirit.
- Remember grace – His grace is sufficient. You are accepted and loved by God, through Christ’’s work on the cross not because of your ability, or fruit as a Biblical counselor. Let that sink deep within your soul.
- Pray – Fear of failure is just one of the symptoms of a lack of prayer with and for counselees. If we are not praying, we are trying to change people with our wisdom, education, experience and words. If it is up to us, we SHOULD be sacred! We cannot do the work of the Spirit.
- Fail – It seems nonsensical but something that has helped my fear of failure, is failing. Making mistakes. Erring. Forgetting. Misplacing. Not walking in the Spirit. I have learned so much from my own mistakes, and by God’s grace, he has made his strength known through my weakness. Our mistakes drive us to the Gospel and drive us to learn and grow.
Let’s be sure that as Biblical Counselors we are believing the same gospel that we are proclaiming to others.
Written by Jason Blackley