Goal of Counseling
The goal or end (τέλος) of counseling is to glorify God (Col. 3:23). Whatever we do in this life given to us from our Creator must be done for the glory of God, not man. As a result, we must filter out sin and mortify sin in our words and deeds so that we may glorify God. Sin done by humans do not glorify God. Since we are dealing with counseling, it is imperative for counselors to understand that counseling a counselee is a serious task. In order to glorify God in counseling, we need to have a desire to restore the brother or sister from sin in a spirit of meekness (James 5:19-20; Gal. 6:1).
To desire one to be restored, it would be wise that the counselor’s thoughts, models after Paul’s heart. Paul glorified God. His goal or end (τέλος) in terms of glorifying God when writing to young Timothy was for the Christian’s instruction to be in “love from a pure heart,” “good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5). Paul is clear when he uses the word goal (τέλος). Paul underscores the notion that there is only one appropriate goal for a teaching ministry. True doctrine and genuine ministry find their satisfaction on love, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. Love is important to Paul, which is why he uses the word ten times in the pastoral epistles; and nine of the ten times, love is used with faith (πίστις) (1 Tim. 1:5, 14; 2:15; 4:12; 6:11; 2 Tim. 1:13; 2:22; 3:10; Titus 2:2).
Out of love springs forth some powerful components that are essential to counseling. The components are: pure heart, good conscience, and a sincere faith. Heart is the wellspring of the human life. It is the seat of the human knowledge (2 Cor. 4:6), emotions (Eph. 6:22), and volition (2 Cor. 9:7). It’s important for the counselor to examine his knowledge of God, emotions, and volition.
The word conscience (1 Tim. 3:9; 2 Tim. 1:3) is a compound word that is combined with the word “with” and “knowledge.” This speaks of a joint-knowledge one shares with oneself. In other words, it speaks of self-awareness. The conscience is a gift from God that can be defiled by sin (Titus 1:15) and seared to the point of desensitization if rebellion is habitual (1 Tim. 4:2). If the counselor does not have a good conscience, he can’t share biblical truths with conviction and genuine passion.
Since faith speaks of a faith that is not filled with hypocrisy, the counselor needs to examine himself before judging others (Matthew 7:5).
On another note, I believe that if the counselor implements 1 Timothy 1:5, then God has been glorified, which is the ultimate goal of counseling. Last but not least, in order to maximize the goal of biblical counseling, we need to believe in the sufficiency of Scripture, especially when it pertains to spiritual matters. What the disciples and believers used in ancient times to counsel individuals is the same for us today: the Word of God (Psalm 19:7-14).
I will leave you with this last note: the aim of biblical counseling is to glorify God. The manner we must do it in is to “love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5).