Personal Growth

What Are the Worst Sins?

December 11, 2017 | 1 Comment

Just what are the worst sins a Christian can commit? Would you say it would be to call someone a liar? Maybe it is for a married person to commit adultery. Or, what about deceiving others? Could it be that the worst of all is to murder someone? We know that all sin is an offense against God. All sin cost God the life of His Son Jesus to provide redemption for a people who could not help themselves. Sin is unquestionably the great reproach against God. But why are there lists of sins in the Bible? Are some worse than others? Are they listed so that we can be more aware of them in our lives? Could you list all the sins in the Bible and then rank them according to what you think are the worst ones, or maybe make a Top Ten list of sins? Of course you could do that. What I find interesting is the groupings of sin problems in the Scriptures. Here are a few that stand out to me: James 3:16-“For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” Notice that every evil thing is listed with self. Where […] Read More

Two Forms of Patience: Human and Spiritual

December 4, 2017 | 0 Comments

Two forms of patience reside in the believer–human and spiritual. The spiritual patience residing in every believer is the power of the God Himself! If that is so, then as long as you are in right relationship with God, the spirit of patience will control you. The question is not whether or not patience is available, but will you experience the patience that resides in you. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.  1 Thessalonians 5:14 The focus in this passage is to be patient with all–not most. Do you need to learn more patience than you are currently experiencing? Most of us would say yes but we do not want to go through the process required to learn patience. Spiritual attributes described in Scripture, such as peace or patience, are different from how the world views the same attribute. While help may be gained from looking at both views, the Scripture has the supreme perspective. Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.” The same is true of […] Read More

Good or Godly Wisdom?

November 27, 2017 | 1 Comment

Have you ever made a decision and then wondered if it was good or godly wisdom that motivated you? Maybe you carried out an action plan based on the decision, and then discovered new information that made you wish you had never made the decision? You thought it was a good decision at the time, but it turned out not to be the best decision. There is a vast difference between having good human thinking and godly wisdom. If you are not walking in the Spirit your thinking will simply be the best human thinking possible at the moment. What Kind of Wisdom? The world has all kinds of wisdom and much of it works. The question should not only be does it work, but is it godly wisdom. One man said, “A wise man can see more from the bottom of a well than a fool can from a mountaintop.” While that may be true, does Scripture give a deeper insight? Yes. Proverbs gives incredible insight to godly wisdom versus the thinking of a fool. Comparing things of the world to spiritual things reveals what kind of wisdom is being considered. Children often do not see the wisdom of […] Read More

Decision Making and the Will of God

November 20, 2017 | 0 Comments

Decision making is approached differently depending on the condition of your spirit at the time. What do you do in moments of loneliness and worry? Do you become alarmed, distressed, or maybe overthink the situation? Do you call a friend, talk it out with a counselor, or agonize over the situation by yourself? How do you react when you have a huge decision to make? Do you stall, become active, or just sit and contemplate the decision for hours on end, only to emerge without a solution? Do you make decisions each day knowing that God is present and that God is watching? The decisions you make are a reflection of your relationship to God. Think for a moment how the apostle Paul felt in 2 Corinthians 5:9-11. “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…” You can tell if you fear the Lord by the decisions you make. The […] Read More

Normal Reactions To Correction

November 10, 2017 | 0 Comments

What is your normal reaction to correction? When a friend confides, “I’m going to be very frank with you.” Do you grasp his hand and pull him to a chair so he can sit down and tell you your shortcoming? Do you shout for joy that another glimpse of your true nature is about to be discovered? Do you get a knot in your stomach and begin to think defensively, “Oh, what is he going to say and how am I going to respond? Do you remember this Bible passage: And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, (2 Timothy 2:24-25 NKJV). If your friend has a compliment, you are only too glad to have him/her say it; and you don’t even get away from a crowd in order for him/her to say it. Many methods have been given to approach a person: such as, start with a praise about a person in order to soften the criticism that follows. The truth is, we usually resist facing up […] Read More

Grace Illustrated

November 6, 2017 | 5 Comments

Do you need grace? Have there been times when you needed others to share grace with you? Grace is a gift from someone who give us something we don’t deserve. Mercy withholds from us what we really do deserve. A local newspaper carried an article called “Road Rage” that demonstrated a need for grace. A motorist cut into another driver’s lane so abruptly that the other motorist had to apply his brakes to avoid collision. Both drivers became angry enough that one of them threatened the other with a gun. No shots were fired. Police arrested the gun-wielding man as he came off the interstate: The first man had called the police from his car phone. The gunman resisted arrest and had to be forcibly extracted from his car. This is a sobering picture of the human heart straight from a local newspaper. Both of these men left home that morning anticipating a sensible day. Suddenly the behavior of one triggered the ugly side of the other and they were involved in this outrageous behavior. The grace of God in their hearts was missing. You can have the same kind of outrageous behavior if your heart is not filled with […] Read More

Sick, Sinful, or Both?

October 31, 2017 | 1 Comment

Are we sick, sinful, or both when we hurt? Medical researchers have recently expressed the opinion, that destructive emotions are caused by a chemical imbalance in the body. But I ask the question, is it possible that a chemical imbalance in the body could have been caused by destructive emotions? It seems obvious to me that since sin is so easily cleansed, the presence of sin should be explored first. A pastor questioned me about this issue. Someone in his congregation had suffered from severe anxiety attacks. His physician prescribed a drug that corrected the problem. After three years of treatment, it was clear that the patient was fine as long as he took his pills. Was I implying that the cause of these attacks was sin? (I had used the term “destructive emotions.”) I asked him, “Shouldn’t everyone be open to the possibility of sin in their lives?” Later that day I was chatting with several people. A man interrupted our conversation. He wanted to talk to me immediately. He seemed disturbed, and paced the floor while he waited. When we were finally able to talk, he wanted to know if I thought that anxiety was caused by sin. […] Read More

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

October 23, 2017 | 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 16, 2017 | 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! 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 10, 2017 | 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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