Blog Post by Sister Diane Foster
A clear definition of Biblical Soul Care is rooted in 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Soul Care Counseling Defined
Blessed be the Elohim and Abba of our Messiah ha Mashiach, the Abba of mercies and Yahuah of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves selves are comforted by Yahuah. For as the sufferings of Messiah abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Messiah (2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NKJV).
By this definition, anyone who has received the comfort and mercies of Yahuah should be in a position to do likewise. Soul Care Counselors seek to provide this form of comforting as disciples and helpers to the body of Yahuah. Biblical Soul Care Counselors use Torah-based counseling and psychology from within the framework of the sinful nature of humanity using the theology of sin. The psychology of their sinful nature finds identity in maladaptive responses to their fallen nature (choice), poor coping skills, or a dysfunctional environment. As we understand we are heart, mind, spirit, and soul.
The term psychology comes from the word psyche which interestingly means soul. Our soul belongs to Yahuah (Eze. 18). “Ology” means the study of or the gaining of more knowledge. Therefore, psychology deals with the issues of the soul. A soul wrecked due to poor decision making, or those finding themselves living in a dysfunctional environment often seek the help of another for comfort and understanding as they seek solutions for their problems. They will often ask this person what they can do to improve their lot. Coming to a Torah-based counselor they know Yahuah but need compassion from someone who can help guide them back to Him as they untie the knots of their life.
In the last blog I discussed What is the Soul and What is Soul Care?
And ELOHIM Yahuah formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul . (Genesis 2:7) This means that the body is the place where the soul exists. The body and the soul of Yah become one as He imparts Himself into the body, giving us life. Again, our soul is life imparted or given to us by Yahuah. It is where our inner being is with all its thoughts and emotions.
The definition that the soul is the inner being with its thoughts and emotions will be the focused thought for the remainder of this blog.
The inner being or immaterial part of the body is the place of reasoning, communicating, experiencing emotions, memory, and social interaction. Thoughts and emotions are what make us who we are. Our thoughts and emotions drive us to do what we do. They control how we act and react to life, good or bad.
That blog also asked Is Spirit and Soul the same?
Gen 1:2 … And the Spirit of Elohim moved upon the face of the waters. Spirit or Ruah is Strong’s H7307 rûaḥ: A feminine noun meaning spirit, wind, resemblance of breath. Here the breath of Yahuah moved, exhaled, or fluttered much as it did into Adam but rather than saying the Spirit moved upon Adam, Genesis 2:7 reads Yah breathe into Him life. Thus, the spirit can relate to a resemblance of breath.
Though the spirit and soul are related, the Spirit has different attributes or characteristics. We think from within our soul, the place where we feel and make decisions, however, it is from the spirit that we act upon what we think. The spirit can help or harm the soul. We are familiar with the saying I feel it in my soul, or stomach; Scripture often refers to this place of feeling as bowels.
And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep, and he entered into his chamber and wept there (Genesis 43:30).
Different versions use the word heart rather than bowels. The heart is truly the seat of emotion, a characteristic or attribute of the spirit
Soul and Spirit are close in meaning, they are similar, but they do not mean exactly the same thing. There is only one soul but many Spirits. A classic example of contrasting spirits is found in Galatians 5: 18-21, 8:22-23.
The Spirit of the Flesh (Gal. 5:18-21).
- Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, wild partying, and such like.
The Fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 8:22-23).
- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.
So, what is Soul Care? In Part 2, I will move deeper into discussing what is Soul Care. Since our soul came from Yahuah and it is the seat of our emotions and is the place of reasoning, communicating, experiencing emotions, memory, and social interaction, we must understand how the soul fits into sin, redemption, and salvation. It is the place from which we form our experiences, good, or bad. Can the soul be persuaded? Of course, the Spirit of Holiness persuades it, or the Spirit of Evil. Being that we are humans with the ability to choose we often make wrong choices and decisions. The first wrong decision was committed in the Garden of Eden. The devil persuaded Eve to partake of the fruit of good and evil and Adam pursued to do the same thing. Thus, the term, the Fall of Humankind. Sometimes, we are victims of our environment.
You see, Satan has sought to destroy the very life Yahuah gave us from the very beginning. Cain killed Able and not much has changed. Thank Yah for Yah that He did not destroy us then and there. However, from the beginning of Genesis Yahuah said His creation was good. Humans are innately good! Our Father did not want to destroy His creation. Rather than destroying it, He offered us redemption first by the prophets and judges, which led to the greatest redeemer of all, His Son Yahusha haMashiach. Still, Yahuah does not make us come to Him. We must choose who we will serve!
The Greatest Invitation given by Yahusha haMashiach is: “Come unto me all you who labor and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Through the centuries people have labored with heavy souls. So much so that they had need of counsel before they could even find themselves to redemption. John the Baptist had to teach repentance.
How many asked Yahusha, “what do I need to do to be saved? Untold numbers still ask this question. What of those who lived by the fruits of the flesh? What of those who are tired of such living but are so sick they do not know where to begin? What of those who see no way out or have no strength to move beyond, or adapt with a peace of mind that only Heavenly Father can give? What of those who feel unforgiven, or are in grief, loneliness, oppression, pain, and well, you get the message.
People need someone to talk to who understands life from a natural and spiritual perspective. Believers are wary of seeking counselors and psychologists who are void of spiritual answers. Or those Believers who follow the traditions of men and secular science in their practice. The soul belongs to Yahuah and when it becomes sick it takes Yahuah for healing. Yahuah can do this on His own, and He does, yet Biblical Soul Care counselors are His disciples whom He uses to bring the sick, broken-hearted, imprisoned, blind, and to set free those who are in bondage to many vexing things.
Caring for someone means you are genuinely concerned about their well-being. For biblical counseling, this means we care for your spiritual soul. We help you walk towards your goal of fulfillment in Yahshua. Understanding a broken foundation Soul Care is not about fixing the problem, it is about pursuing a vision of healing thereby strengthening character and position in life.
- Soul Care is about listening, knowing, and touching the individual through genuine concern by exploring their world with them.
- Soul Care does not condemn.
- The Soul Care Counselor confronts and gives comfort, and support as we advocate for the weak and brokenhearted.
- We come alongside the counselee as we help them reach their goals.
- Each goal sought after resonates with biblically sound teaching, and rest in Yahusha.
- Soul Care biblical counseling does not involve fixing a person, it is equipping them with what they need to draw upon the love and instruction of Yah to manage whatever situation they find themselves in.
Equipping finds root in John 15:1-7. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
2. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6. If anyone does not abide in me, he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
Notice in verse 3 Yahusha tells us we are already clean by the Word He spoke to us. Yahusha is Yahuah’s Word wrapped in flesh. Yahshua’s Word, through His Father Yahuah, has the power of purification. Yahshua says His Word is Truth, The Way, and Life. His Words move us from darkness of spiritual death to light. For Elohim, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of Yahuah in the face of Yahusha ha Mashiach (2Corinthians 4:6).
Necessary steps must be taken to achieve the goal of abiding in Yahusha. For it is by His Word that we are made clean, whole, purified and sanctified unto Yahuah. The Soul Care Counselor is a disciple of Yahusha helping people to understand this all-important key to wellness. Exhortation, or putting it another way, inciting; motivates you to reach your goals, helps you understand your blind spots, encourages you to continue to attain your goal and sometimes coaches as they give you advice on attaining your goals. The goal of brokenness is to become fruitful in mind, spirit, body, and soul.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 exhorts the Biblical Soul Counselor:
Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.
Sometimes a weak, sick soul is close to spiritual death. When the soul weeps, counselors seek to give comfort in the form of first helping the person understand who they are in Yahuah but most importantly who Yahuah is in them. By this they help the counselee find significance in life, step by step, goal by goal, as the Holy Spirit lead them. Counselors want them to move from sin and carnality to spirit and wholeness in Yahusha.
This perspective takes me to Ezekiel 36:26-27.
A new heart also will I give you, and a new Spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you and heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Yahuah says He will give us a new heart by changing our old patterns of thoughts, fears, inflictions, and afflictions that created hard, dead places in our souls. The heart is the seat of affections and passions. Scripture tells us to set our affections on things above, not on things on the earth (Col. 3:2). Setting affections means setting our minds on things we desire. A sick soul who recognizes it is sick wants their affection changed towards righteousness. This is the charge of Compassionate Soul Care Counselors, to help the sick soul set their affections on Yahusha and the Ruach haQodesh to receive a renewed heart. When the heart moves to repentance healing process begin.
Sometimes the process is challenging. The counselor must work with the counselee through mindful enlightening and understanding, to correct their erroneous judgment and misguided will. At this phase, the stony hearts begin to break into manageable pieces for removal as fertile soil turns the heart into a place where Yahuah and the Ruach haQodesh begin to minister. Yahuah promised He would give a heart of flesh, one that is sensitive to the instructions of the Son, not held in prison, but is free to walk in the acceptable Will of Yahuah.
This reminds me of the African teaching and proverb of Sankofa. It means that while we stand in the present, we look at the past in order that we may see our future. Like a surgeon preparing to remove infected cancerous tissue, the infected areas require inspection. The question asked by the counselor to the counselee is “how can we help you?” We understand Yahuah will not break a bruised reed or put out smoking flax (Mat. 12:20, Isa. 42:7). Like Him we see the goodness He created when He exhaled His breath into us, giving us life. Yahuah realizes that through sin we become bruised, sometimes to the point of death. He gave helpers, these are those who give Torah/Biblically-Based Soul Care.