Q: Does God ever give us a second chance? I've made a lot of dumb mistakes in the last few years, and I know I need to get on a different road. But sometimes I wonder if God has given up on me, and nothing is ever going to change. -- K.Y.
A: God not only gives us a second chance (as you put it) -- but He wants to give us that second chance! Let...Read more
Q: A few years ago I dropped out of school against my parents' advice, and now I'm stuck in a low-paying job with no future. Maybe my letter will keep someone from making the same mistake. I wish I could go back and change things, but I can't. -- C.McN.
A: I've often said that one of life's hardest lessons is that we cannot change the past. ...Read more
Q: Our neighbors are some of the kindest and most moral people we know, and yet they don't have any use for God. Unfortunately, another neighbor claims to be a Christian, but is one of the grumpiest people I've ever met. How do you explain this? -- Mrs. E.H.
A: Admittedly some people who don't even believe in God put those of us who claim to ...Read more
Q: My parents never bothered to get married, and now that I'm in high school it gets kind of embarrassing when my friends start asking me about it. I've told my mom that I wish they'd get married, but they don't seem interested. Should I just forget about it? -- D.L.
A: You can't force your parents to get married, of course; they alone must ...Read more
Q: The other day I decided to make a list of my main faults so I could begin to do something about them. But I got discouraged, because I don't see how I can ever overcome them. How can I become a better person? -- W.Q.
A: You are, I suspect, discovering one of life's hardest lessons: Even when we know how we ought to live, we still lack the ...Read more
Q: If God loves everybody, then why is there so much hate in the world? I'm a member of a racial minority, and I feel it every day -- even from people who claim to be Christians. -- K.N.
A: The Bible makes it clear that racial prejudice and hatred are sins, and no matter how deeply ingrained they may be in our hearts or our society, we need to ...Read more
Q: I'll be released from prison in a few months, and I'm really scared. I don't have the strength to stay on the straight and narrow, and I know I'll just end up back in prison (although I don't want to). I guess I need God, but I doubt if God needs me. No one else does. -- Z.H.
A: The most important truth I can ever tell you -- and the most ...Read more
Q: I read a newspaper report recently saying that young people today aren't really interested in God or the church. Is this true, in your experience? Why is this happening? -- Mrs. N.C.
A: Some recent polls do seem to indicate that young people are less involved in churches than previous generations; some young people, in fact, indicate they ...Read more
Martha's Sister Beloved ProdigalPatricia Annalee Kirk
Mary left home in a decision that shattered her family. She accepted her Messiah in a dramatic act of love, but Jesus doesn't always protect us from consequences.
Read about the most exciting decade in history and the ordinary people who Jesus called friends. ...
Q: Our church just started a campaign to raise money for a new building. I haven't said anything, but I don't see anything wrong with our old building. They say we need it to attract new people, but I'd rather keep things the way they are. I don't like the idea of going into debt either (which we may have to do). Am I wrong? -- G.G.
A: I don't ...Read more
Q: You'll probably think something is wrong with me, but I'm already dreading Christmas, although it's still months away. We always spend too much, and we wear ourselves out entertaining. How can we make Christmas less hectic? -- Mrs. J.S.
A: There's nothing wrong with you; I suspect many readers are already dreading Christmas -- and for the ...Read more
Q: I have a friend who likes to ask me hard questions about the Bible (since he knows I'm a Christian). But even if I find an answer, he just comes up with another question. Sometimes I think he just likes to argue. Should I give up on him? -- L.L.
A: No, don't give up on him; even if he's asking questions just to keep from facing his own ...Read more
Q: I know you say God will forgive us, but how do we know it's true? I often ask God to forgive me, but I'm not sure He really does. -- C.W.W.
A: Have you ever asked someone to forgive you for something you did -- an unkind word, a thoughtless act, a deliberate lie, a broken promise, etc.? You probably have, because you wanted to get rid of the...Read more
Q: How can I get started reading the Bible? I actually made a New Year's resolution to read the Bible every day (like my grandmother did), but I got bogged down and finally gave up. Maybe you could give me some pointers. -- Mrs. J.H.
A: I'm thankful for your grandmother's example; even if she didn't realize it, she was showing ...Read more
Q: I left God behind when I went to college and then got a job. Now I'm in my 40s and going through some tough times, and I can't help but wonder if God is punishing me for ignoring Him all these years. Is He behind the troubles I'm having? -- Z.R.
A: If you went for a walk in the woods, but then decided to wander off the path, and found ...Read more
Q: My parents fought all the time before they finally got a divorce. Now I worry about getting married, because I know I never learned how to be a good husband or parent. I don't want to end up like they did. How can I get over this fear? Or can I? -- K.F.
A: Yes, you can get over this fear -- and I want to assure you that God not only wants ...Read more
Q: My aunt is in a nursing home, and she says she can't understand why God keeps her here. She doesn't have any quality of life, and all she wants to do is go to Heaven. What can I say to cheer her up? Is it wrong for her to feel this way? -- Mrs. M.Z.
A: No, it's not necessarily wrong for us to want to leave this life behind and go to Heaven; ...Read more
Q: My mother and I hadn't spoken in over 15 years, but now that she's gone I feel overwhelmed with guilt and regret. I wish I'd swallowed my pride and reached out to her, but I didn't, and now it's too late. Maybe some of your readers will learn from my mistake. -- Mrs. V.S.
A: Thank you for your letter -- and I too certainly hope others will ...Read more
Q: If I sincerely try to do what's right, isn't that what really counts with God? After all, no one is perfect, but if we sincerely try to be good, that ought to be enough, shouldn't it? -- T.H.
A: I'm thankful you are concerned about your relationship with God; the person who is in the most danger spiritually is the one who ignores God and has...Read more
Q: Does God know every detail about our lives? I can't imagine this, because the universe is so big and we are so small. Why should He bother worrying about us? Surely He has more important things to think about. -- L.K.
A: Yes, God knows about every detail of our lives -- even our smallest concern or our most insignificant thought or deed. God...Read more
Q: My parents tell me I need to stop making bad decisions, because I'm just messing up my life. I guess they're right, but how do I stop? It seems like everything I do turns out wrong. -- B.McC.
A: Later in your letter you list some of the things that have gone wrong in your life -- and your parents are right: You have been a victim of your own...Read more