Pretending Happiness

Pretending happiness is a tough way to live. It takes a lot of energy to keep up this acting lifestyle. George wanted to clear up the gnawing sense of anxiety and growing unhappiness that plagued him, and hoped to do so before anyone else found out about his condition. So he quietly sought professional counseling. He would rather have died than have his associates learn that he was bored with church and its activities, dissatisfied with his wife, and annoyed with his fellow employees at work. But the counseling experience was a shattering one. The counselor, who George suspected was a non-Christian, pressed him to share his antagonisms, and George did not like it. He insisted he had no antagonisms. He stoutly maintained that since he was a Christian he loved everyone and was nice to … [Read more...]

Are You Ready To Change?

Change may be needed but are you ready to change? How do you you know when a friend is ready to hear and apply the truth of their situation? There is no guarantee that you will know but you must estimate when the counselee is ready to consider a biblical description of the problem and take some action. Then, you present your insight and leave the result with God. Do not fear being wrong when you are using the Bible as a mirror. Your counselee may have been telling you how angry his wife makes him. He has believed this for years. Now you are telling him that his anger is a work of the sinful nature and a change must take place. What change? A change of heart. He may become furious at you for even suggesting change. You quietly tell him to think about it and see you next … [Read more...]

Understanding The Inner Person

Understanding our inner person can be quite complicated for us. However, God’s invitation is to believe, receive, abide, come, and take of His resources so that we will have a greater understanding of the inner person. Frequently, an individual will protest that he has no will power, that he is weak, or that his case is special. He pleads for understanding, implying that if he were understood, he would be accepted as he is. Of course it is true that all people are weak, unrighteous, and sinful. It is also true that a disturbed individual needs to be understood by others but also by him or herself. But understanding the inner person and his/her problems does not change him/her, it only makes his/her need clear. He needs someone to reassure, instruct, and guide him to Christ who can … [Read more...]

Those Annoying People!

"Those annoying people did it to me again!" Have you said that lately? There is not doubt there are many annoying people in this world. But why is it that we have to run into them so often? God's Word gives us some insight in Galatians 5:20-21 stating, “hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy,” are works of the lower nature. Other words that we could use would be quarreling, debate, disunion, and anger. I am going to lump all of these together and call them “annoyance.” Feelings of Annoyance Feelings of annoyance can range all the way from very slight annoyance that you hardly notice to intense annoyance that breaks through our shells and causes our faces to flush, our hearts to pound, and causes our bodies to break into a sweat. … [Read more...]

Christ’s Help in a Self-Help World

Christ's help for us is different than the assistance available from a "self-help" world. No matter what the world tells you, Jesus has a clear, concise, simple promise for His disciples: Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  John 14:27 The apostle Paul taught: Walk in [live by] the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”  Gal. 5:16 Everyone has two options in life: turn to God for help or, turn to the world for help. Of course there are common events in life for helping yourself, but remember, spiritual needs come from God, not self. It’s like determining if you are headed north or south. Those are opposite directions. God's help, and self help are … [Read more...]

How Does the Truth Affect You?

When you are faced with the truth, how does truth affect you? Christians who have knowingly committed sin and then are corrected in humility will either become mellow or hard hearted when they hear the truth. If you are the one being corrected, you will face the same choice of response. Your response to truth is not determined by the spirit of the person delivering the message. Your reaction to the truth is determined by your spirit. The safest response to needed correction is to change. To delay change may require increased discipline by God to turn your heart back to Him. Jesus said to the church at Laodicea, “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Rev. 3:16). If you are cold, you know you are cold. If you are hot, you know you … [Read more...]

Who Do I Love?

To be in love with somebody is a wonderful experience. I remember the dating experience with  Elaine. I dreamed about that girl! I used to talk about her all the time, and carried her picture in my wallet, and at odd moments, I’d take it out and look at that simple image of her. I had a picture of her in my room (I still have that picture on my iPhone now). Every night that I wasn’t working, I went to see her. I went to see her as often as my parents would let me! I bought gifts for her and did everything I could to show my love for her. While we all enjoy being with our families, we also like to be around various other people. Many times you must pause and ask yourself what comes first, family, time with friends, or to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and … [Read more...]

Deceit Can Affect Your Health

Deceit can affect your health. Deceit is the deliberate attempt to mislead someone. Hypocrisy is the pretended possession of those qualities that would make others believe in one’s sincerity, goodness, and devotion. One of the clearest illustrations of deceit was told to me by my friend and mentor Dr. Henry Brandt. I remember him telling me this story and then we included it in one of our books–The Word for the Wise. I think you will enjoy the story of the Stolen Raspberries! When I was a boy, we lived in the suburbs. A neighbor had a fine raspberry patch. My instructions were to stay out of it unless permission was given by my parents and the people who owned the patch. One day when there was was no one around, I slipped into the patch and started eating the ripe, juicy … [Read more...]

Envy: A Self-Focused Problem

  Envy is a self-focused problem. Many people are not satisfied with who they are. When they look into a mirror, they don't see the real "them," they see what they want to become. This type of envy is harmful to the soul. Proverbs 14:30 states, “A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.” It has been said by Socrates that, “Envy is the ulcer of the soul.” A Danish proverb states, “Rust consumes iron and envy consumes itself.” Another said, “Envy is the art of counting the other fellows blessings instead of your own.” Another words, envy destroys a person from the inside out. Envy happens in the commonality of life. I am not envious of SuperBowl champion quarterback, Drew Brees. Why? Because it is impossible for me to attain his ability in … [Read more...]

Adjusting to God for Peace

Adjusting to God for peace can be difficult for us to understand but it is a wonderful resource available from an abiding relationship with Christ. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7). The verse above promises the peace that passes understanding will guard our hearts and minds as a by-product of prayer: a peace that is a quiet, still, calm, serene state of heart and mind. Everyone seeks this, but not everyone wants to meet the conditions. Prayer and supplication imply the acceptance of the truth that you must submissively and earnestly relinquish control over the … [Read more...]

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