Discerning The Client
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The Biblical counselor must discern his client through God's eyes and God's heart. He must see beyond the circumstances--beyond the presenting problem and ask the Lord, "What is really going on? What is in Your heart toward this person? How do You want to minister to him?"

For instance: Two clients present a similar life situation. Each says "In childhood my parents were hateful and mean to me. They have rejected me all of my life. There is nothing that I can do right in their eyes."

As the counselor seeks God's discernment he discovers that in the first client's life this is a true statement. His parents were abusive and cruel. However, the second client was in rebellion to his parents--and still is. Although he feels abused by his parents, in reality he has abused them by rejecting their authority throughout his lifetime.

God's ministry for the first client is to bring healing to him for the rejection he has received. For the second client, God's ministry is to bring him to repentance for the grief and heartache he has caused by dishonoring his parents.

Isaiah Chapter 11 says of Jesus that:

...He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear; but with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; and He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked (Isaiah 11:3-4 NASV).

Jesus is not swayed by appearances. He sees and deals with the heart. A biblical counselor must strive to do the same.

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