Effective Biblical Counseling can never be reduced to the question, “What does the Bible say about [topic]?” Both life and counseling require more than having the right answer to a question. Counseling (or Christian friendship that seeks to embody the “one another” commands of the New Testament) is when one person joins another on his/her journey to cultivate more of the fruit of the Spirit in his/her life by overcoming some life struggle.
What you find below should be considered the “map” for this journey. God’s Word helps us see both where we are (stuck in sin and/or suffering) and where we want to be. The Summit counseling ministry hopes you find both direction and encouragement for your journey in these passages.
This list is updated periodically.
Every sin is designed by Satan to enslave people in opposition to the true freedom in which God desires for us to live.
John 8:31-36, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ They answered him, ‘We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, “You will become free”?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
1 Peter 5:6-11, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
2 Peter 2:19, “They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.”
We can live in bondage to any thing (good or bad) and thereby live an empty life of sadness.
Mark 10:21-22, “And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’ Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”
James 1:14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
The Bible is vivid about the effects of addiction on an individual.
Proverbs 23:29-35, “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast. They struck me,” you will say, “but I was not hurt; they beat me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake? I must have another drink.”
Addiction is a form of idolatry. We make great sacrifices to/for our god (substance/activity). In the end we become as lifeless as our god.
Psalm 115:4-11, “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat. Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them. O Israel, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield. O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield. You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.”
There is hope to resist each moment of temptation you face.
1 Corinthians 10:13-14, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.”
Ultimately, addiction is a way we are trying to pursue life, hope, or relief outside of God.
Luke 9:23-25, “And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?’”
Other Passages to Study: The book of Judges for a description of continually getting clean and relapsing; Descriptions of a “fool” in Proverbs, 25:28; Ecclesiastes 7:18; Isaiah 1:5-7; Galatians 5: 16-26, 6:1-5; Ephesians 5:15-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:4-5
Other Topics to Consider: Character, Change Process, Codependency, Contentment, Guilt & Shame, Lying, Pornography