Resource Review: www.settingcaptivesfree.com
Setting Captives Free offers a biblically based, interactive, free resource for those struggling with specific sinful behaviors. It has courses on Food Issues, Sexual Purity, Gambling, Substance Abuse, Self-injury, and then other general Bible studies.
I discovered this resource while in seminary. One of our professors recommended that we go through at least one of the courses in order to know enough to pass it on to others as a counseling resources. It has been an encouraging experience and I highly recommend it for these reasons:
The focus is on Christ. The courses are not merely intent on breaking an annoying habit, but leading someone to godly repentance through a proper view of Christ. Jesus is presented as the Christ, the Son of God. He is the fountain of living water and only satisfier.
The lessons are based in Scripture. It is not like the “power verse” mentality where one selection of words is ripped from its context to prove a point.
It presents the Gospel not as merely a way to erase everything in the past, but to have victory over it. The Gospel is the power of God for salvation – with both past, present, and future ramifications. We need the Gospel every day to be saved.
They ask tough questions. They do not pull punches, but ask you to be honest.
They give hope. They do not label you or relegate you to a category for the rest of your life. You are not merely a “recovering ________.” Instead they teach you how Jesus can free you from the domination of sin. They don’t tell you that it will be easy, or that you will never struggle, but those in Christ have been given victory and have sufficient grace to live in light of that reality.
There are many lessons. I cannot give the number of every series, but I imagine they are all similar (50-60 lessons). This tells me that the creators understand sin (that it is ingrained), people (that we need repetition), and habits (that it takes time).
The lessons are are long enough to be significant, but not too long. Each lesson will take 15-30 minutes, a great investment of time. Doing a lesson is not like taking on a two hour challenge, which makes it easier to commit every day.
The lessons are interactive. Each lesson has questions to answer through multiple choice and essay. They ask you to share your thoughts, experiences, and struggles.
There is review. After each lesson you receive an email with an additional thought and your answers from the day. It also repeats key principles throughout the series which have been learned earlier.
There are mentors. An individual, someone who has been through the course before, can connect with you and encourage you throughout the course. They pray for you, email you, and remain open for questions.
The course is flexible. If you miss a day, or two, it picks up where you left off. You can choose to do one lesson a week, three lessons a week, a lesson every day, or a mixture of any of them. They encourage consistency, but they also understand that life happens.
There is an app for that. No excuses. If you delete a social media app off your phone you will find more than enough time to do this course!
This is not a replacement for one to one admonishment in the Scriptures, but it would go great with regular counseling. It is not feasible, nor wise in many situations, to meet with someone everyday for 50-60 days. However, if you met once a week and helped someone through this course there would be incredible potential.
We could learn a lot about biblical counseling from how they operate these courses.
Take a course. Even if you don’t feel like you struggle with one of the options, someone in your church does. Start taking it, then invite someone to join you. Set up a time to talk about it regularly.
So, since you just went and started a course, what are your initial thoughts?