Biblical Counseling

Pouting and Sulking

January 26, 2019 | 0 Comments

Pouting and sulking are people’s attempt to get their own way. Pouting is selfishness. Have you ever been around people who sulk or pout? Most of the people I counsel are adults and many are experts at pouting. If I say something in a counseling situation that they do not like, they show their displeasure by protruding the lips. The Look What does pouting look like? 1. To exhibit displeasure or disappointment; sulk. 2. To protrude the lips in an expression of displeasure or sulkiness. You can recognize it in others. At what age is it acceptable to pout when you don’t get what you want? It is used by children and adults alike. People pout and continue unacceptable behavior because it has worked in the past. The real reason people use this as acceptable behavior is because of their sinful nature. Carnality keeps you from understanding spiritual things. Sighing or sulking is a little different. Have you ever watched and heard someone take a deep breath and release it in a “Woosh?” You tell a kid to do something they don’t want to do and they blow a breath at you. It is not even a word! What does […] Read More

Four Counseling Factors

January 21, 2019 | 1 Comment

The four counseling factors are essential when helping others. Dealing with individuals and their needs is more a matter of getting across a message than following a single established method. Each person will follow his own distinctive way and use his own choice of words. Many times it is like kneading dough. It takes effort to make sure the truth penetrates the counselee’s entire thinking, attitudes, and feelings. But even so, the following basic factors are essential in effective counseling: Counseling Factor 1: Be Compassionate To be an effective counselor, you must be a loving, compassionate person. You must love the counselee enough to present him with God’s truth regardless of what the truth may suggest for him. When the rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked what he must do to inherit eternal life, “Jesus, looking at him, loved him” (Mark 10:21). But you must not force God’s solution on the counselee. Remember that the individual has the freedom of choice. He can reject or accept God’s answer to his problems. The rich young ruler “was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Mark 10:22). He rejected what he had heard. Factor […] Read More

God’s Path Is Safe

January 7, 2019 | 2 Comments

My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for He shall pluck my feet out of the net. Psalm 25:15 Imagine walking through the forest along a path that is not well defined. Concern for staying on the path would be your focus, lest you step into a hole or become disoriented and lost. If you knew that there were many animal traps set, it would make you even more alert and cautious. Knowing this, instead of taking a relaxing walk, your concern would be to scope out the area and make sure that you avoid those traps! Learning to scope out and avoid traps can be quite exhausting. Your mind, emotions, and physical skills become highly alert, knowing you can still miss a trap and become ensnared. Satan has set many traps for God’s people. His traps tend to be highly camouflaged. How do we avoid these traps? Do we avoid them by consciously and carefully watching for each trap? If so, then the whole of your Christian life would be on the defensive. This passage reveals that if we keep our eyes always toward the Lord, then we will always be on a path that avoids traps. Our salvation is not […] Read More

What is the Difference Between the Indwelling of the Spirit and Being Filled by the Spirit?

December 17, 2018 | 6 Comments

Truly it is impossible to live the Christian life in your own human strength. The Christian life depends upon the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. With that in mind, what is the difference between the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and being filled with the Spirit? What Does Indwelling Mean? This indwelling occurs when we first believe. It does not occur twenty years later but rather when you are born again. (Rom. 5:5, 2 Tim. 2:4) The indwelling of the Holy Spirit occurs one time. It is once for all. When Jesus Christ comes into your life as your Lord and Savior, His Spirit takes up permanent residence in you. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is for all believers. Simply claiming to be a Christian does not necessarily mean you are a Christian (Matt. 7:21). Believers are not commanded to be indwelt or possessed by the Holy Spirit, born-again people are possessed by the Holy Spirit. The indwelling does not indicate direction in life but position in life. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and […] Read More

Pressure!

December 10, 2018 | 1 Comment

Feeling the pressure of the moment? Is your job bringing an over abundance of pressure? What about your health, children, or other relationships? Pressure comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Sometimes the pressure comes over you like a dark cloud surprising you in such a way that you can’t determine the source of the problem. Physical Pressure A few years ago, my wife Elaine began to feel pressure around her neck, across her shoulders, and then in her chest. Where did it come from? Many suggested to her that it was panic or stress that caused the problem. Friends gathered around us with focused prayer and care. As we examined what was going on in our lives, we knew that our work in ministry was at a wonderful level, our family was fine, and our marriage had never been better. We ruled out panic and stress and realized that she had a physical problem. Elaine’s family history of heart problems was our first thought. Elaine went to her doctor, a wonderful friend, who said we must get aggressive with finding the source of the problem. First an EKG, then a nuclear stress test, and then the process finished […] Read More

Joy Requires God’s Reservoir

November 26, 2018 | 3 Comments

Joy does not come from a discouraged soul. Joy requires God’s reservoir of help. Our world needs needs a good dose of these virtues: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Most mental-health workers would agree with that statement. We would, however, sharply disagree on how to generate such virtues. If you were an atheist, your only option would be to find a way to create an environment that will either produce these qualities inside a person or release them from within a person, assuming something is blocking their release. I spoke with a man who wished that he had love, joy, and peace in his home. While the man had great wealth, he realized that he could not find a doctor, counselor, or a retail store where he could buy love, joy, and peace. He admitted that everything he had tried in this world–money, fame, and power–had not brought happiness. These virtues are not available “over the counter.” Qualities such as love, joy, and peace are only available as a result of a relationship with Jesus Christ. It is a shame that many people in our world today will not accept this fact. The Bible says […] Read More

Encouragement for the Discouraged

November 12, 2018 | 0 Comments

Is there anyone who doesn’t need encouragement? Encouragement helps to bring the discouraged out of despair. The Scripture states, My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to Your word. Psalm 119:28 One writer said, “Flatter me and I may not believe you. Criticize me and I may not like you. Ignore me and I may not forgive you. Encourage me and I may not forget you.” Encouragement really is the spice of life. A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more that an hour of praise after success. Three Key Truths About Encouragement 1. Spend time with the right people! Maybe you are going through a discouraging time in your life and need strong encouragement from your friends. To be encouraged you must spend time with people who are like-minded; who have the same beliefs, goals, and concerns on their hearts. Don’t avoid the very people who can help you! Many years ago, during a discouraging time in my life, I read a book by Chuck Swindoll entitled, Encourage Me. I discovered personally what Swindoll explained in his book. When you are discouraged, the weight of discouragement can literally drop your shoulders and your smile. The entire day […] Read More

The Heart of the Problem (Anger-part 5 of 5)

October 22, 2018 | 0 Comments

The Heart of the Problem is the Problem of the Heart! *This five-part series is an overview of The Heart of the Problem book/workbook. If you discover help in these articles, I encourage you to purchase the workbook at www.kerryskinner.com/books and go deeper in your discovery. For detailed training as a biblical counselor, see https://thinklifechange.com/our-program/ Dealing with anger is the single greatest issue that comes to the consulting room. Though many deny it to be their problem, many more realize that it is the problem. If the article is helpful to you, please forward it to your friends, or post it on facebook, linked in, or twitter. God bless you in your studies! Anger is One Letter Away from Danger! Have you ever lost your keys? What was your response? Have you ever been cut off in traffic? What was your response? Is being a little bit angry like being a little bit pregnant? The one single problem that everyone is plagued with universally is anger. But, if there is one topic in which there is universal disagreement, it would be how to tame anger. Most Christians believe their anger is always righteous. However, James says the anger of “man” does not produce […] Read More

The Heart of the Problem (part 4 of 5-Unforgiveness)

October 14, 2018 | 1 Comment

The Heart of the Problem is the Problem of the Heart! *This five-part series is an overview of The Heart of the Problem book/workbook. If you discover help in these articles, I encourage you to purchase the workbook at www.kerryskinner.com/books and go deeper in your discovery. For detailed training as a biblical counselor, see https://thinklifechange.com/our-program/ If the article is helpful to you, please forward it to your friends, or post it on facebook, linked in, or twitter. God bless you in your studies! Dealing with Unforgiveness Forgiveness is a major roadblock in personal relationships. If a person is in bondage to a particular sin, they may keep asking for forgiveness of a particular sin yet they never freed from the sin. Could it be because of an unforgiving spirit? Simon Peter was talking to Jesus and His disciples trying to show how spiritual he was. My paraphrase of Matthew 18:21 is, “Jesus, when it comes to the issue of someone offending us, how many times should we forgive them? Up to seven times?” Peter  thought he was being generous. He seemed to be showing off about how gracious he was and what a forgiving person he was. Jesus said, “No, Peter. Forgive an […] Read More

The Heart of the Problem (part 3 of 5)

October 8, 2018 | 0 Comments

The Heart of the Problem is the Problem of the Heart! *This five-part series is an overview of The Heart of the Problem book/workbook. If you discover help in these articles, I encourage you to purchase the workbook at www.kerryskinner.com/books and go deeper in your discovery. For detailed training as a biblical counselor, see https://thinklifechange.com/our-program/ If the article is helpful to you, please forward it to your friends, or post it on facebook, linked in, or twitter. God bless you in your studies! Using the Bible as a Mirror If the Lord looks at the heart, then it follows that a checkup of your soul should be more critical than an examination of your physical appearance. A checkup of the soul need not take longer than a checkup of one’s personal appearance. Regular checkups will serve you well if you correct what needs attention, but often we will go for weeks or months, or even years, without checking up on our hearts. When people come into my consulting room, I can see that they have taken time to look nice. However, what I talk about is the part of them you cannot see, the world of thoughts, feelings, and emotions underneath the skin. […] Read More

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