Seven Bad Things

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I got excited thinking about how we have four months remaining in 2019. That’s more than enough time to change the direction of our destiny.

Yes, it’s definitely turnaround time for each of us no matter where we are around the world.

We believe the next the next four months to be the most positive, successful, uplifting and inspirational days of your life.

So, you can imagine our surprise when we were led to teach seven bad things to not do in the remainder of this year or ever for that matter.

Please understand this is not a negative teaching but rather one that’s instructively providing a clear direction on what the Word says we should and shouldn’t be doing from this day forward.

Deuteronomy 4:40 in the Contemporary English Version says:

“Today I am explaining his laws and teachings. And if you always obey them, you and your descendants will live long and be successful in the land the LORD is giving you.”         

1.      Bad attitude

If you want to increase your income. . .if you want things to be different in your life. . .the number one thing you need to change is not your job, circumstances, environment, relationships or income. . .it’s your attitude.

Now your attitude can be either good or bad. That’s why I want to be very specific.

Our attitude is determined by the collection of the dominant thoughts in our minds. So in determining the proper kind of attitude for change. . .we must look at Philippians 2:5 in the New Living Translation which says:

“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”

Before we ever do anything. . .we want to think like He would think!

The great news is that you can know with absolutely certainty what Jesus thinks. All that is required is for you to: Read Your Bible…

Napoleon Hill, the author of Think And Grow Rich, once said:

“What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve."

However, if you have a negative or bad attitude. . .you will not conceive or believe it and you most certainly. . .will not achieve your goals.

Neither success nor increased income will come to you. . .unless you’re willing to change your attitude. . .which will only change by what you start feeding your mind.

Ephesians 4:23 in the Amplified Bible says:

“And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude].”

Philippians 2:5 in the Contemporary English Version says it even more clearly:

“And think the same way that Christ Jesus thought.”

You may be thinking… “that sounds good because I’ve now heard it in two translations but how do I receive or develop that kind of attitude.”

Seven words.

Read your Bible. . .do what it says.

We can read our Bibles … but we must begin applying it to our lives too.

Let’s go a little further.

Our attitude is neutral . . .it will be positive or negative … we are the ones to decide which. And therein, lies the problem . . .our attitude should be God controlled and directed.

Let’s read Ephesians 4:23 in the Amplified Bible one more time. It says:

“And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude].”

And just for good measure, let’s read Philippians 2:5 one more time in the New Living Translation and personalize it for ourselves:

“(Your Name), must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”

2.      Negative reactions

According to reaction is defined as:

“a reverse movement or tendency; an action in a reverse direction or manner; action in response to some influence, event.”

Generally speaking, a reaction is in response to what someone else does or doesn’t do.

For instance:

How do you react. . .when someone cuts you off in traffic?

How do you react. . .when someone treats you unfairly on the job?

How do you react. . .if you’ve been accused of something you didn’t do?

How do you react. . .if your spouse or children says something that really hurts you or seems unfair?

How do you react. . .when you are called by creditors about debts you incurred but can no longer pay?

How do you react. . .when you see others treated unfairly?

Rita Mae Brown, an American writer, said:

“A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually. One must fight for a life of action, not reaction.”

Are our reactions to difficult circumstances, situations and problems born of the fruit of the spirit?

Galatians 5:22-23 in the Amplified Bible tells us what that would be:

“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].”

Are our responses to adversity consistent with the fruit of the spirit which should be coming from our hearts?

Do we handle situations with love. . .the kind of love that Jesus would personify?

Do we demonstrate an even temper. . .kindness. . .self-control. . .self-restraint?

Fox Mulder, the fictional FBI agent in the television series “The X Files,” once made this insightful remark:

“Maybe it's other people's reactions to us that makes us who we are.”

The only way to react properly is to act scripturally which can only come through reading, studying and applying the Word of God in our lives.

Psalm 119:5 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Oh, that my ways were directed and established to observe Your statutes [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying them]!”

The measure of who we are as a person. . .is determined not only by our actions but equally important is our reactions . . . especially to adversity or hostility.

Action according to is defined as:

“an act that one consciously wills and that may be characterized by physical or mental activity; habitual or usual acts; conduct.”

A person’s actions are most often self-initiated . . . with prior planning and behavior patterns that determine what you’re going to do and/or not do.

A person’s daily actions are generally pre-planned and not subject to surprises or emotional responses . . . because they’ve been pre-meditated.

You decide to act in a certain way based on the information available to you at any given time. Those actions are a reflection of who we are in Him and the extent to which we have renewed our mind with the Word of God.

Psalm 119:5 in the New Living Translation says:

“Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees!”

The only way we can succeed is to daily put Proverbs 16:3 in the New Living Translation into practice:

“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.”

3.      Blaming others.

Why do we blame others? Here are seven specific reasons for placing blaming on others.

First, to make ourselves look better.

Second, to make others look worse.

Third, to cover our mistakes.

Fourth, to hide our sins.

Fifth, to cover our fear of failure.

Sixth, to hide our perceived inadequacies.

Seventh, to avoid being held accountable for our actions.

None are scriptural. If we start accepting responsibility for mistakes we’ve made, we will also stop making excuses.

Matthew 7:3-5 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Why do you stare from without at the very small particle that is in your brother’s eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye?

4 Or how can you say to your brother, Let me get the tiny particle out of your eye, when there is the beam of timber in your own eye?

5 You hypocrite, first get the beam of timber out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the tiny particle out of your brother’s eye.”

We will on occasion mess up. . . so we must fess up. . .get up and move on. Shifting the blame takes us no closer to achieving our goals for success.

Proverbs 28:13 in The Living Bible says:

“A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.”

4.      Self-pity

There’s one party no one ever wants to attend or even be invited to. . .it’s a pity party.

There are seven reasons to never attend a pity party.

First, the environment and most of the people are ugly.

Yes, I know some of the attendees may be physically attractive. . .but have you ever wished you didn’t see someone coming your way because all they ever do is complain about how bad their life is? No matter how good looking you are prolonged self-pity makes you look like you were weaned on a dill pickle.

Second, the prevailing attitudes of negativity at a pity party are contagious. The “whoa is me” attitude will jump on you faster than a mosquito at a pool party.

Third, there’s no music. . .at least nothing you’d want to hear. “Gloom, despair and agony on me. . .deep dark depression and excessive misery” was a funny song when sung on the old Hee Haw TV show. . .but not in real life.

Fourth, it’s tough to find a happy face at a pity party. I don’t want to be anywhere I can’t be happy. Even in the midst of trials and adversity . . . happiness can breathe some life into a situation.

Fifth, there is no entertainment value in hearing people commiserate among themselves about how bad things are.

Sixth, nobody will feel sorry for you at a pity party because they’re too busy feeling sorry for themselves.

Seventh, the people at a pity party will drain you of your energy quicker than Dracula can clean out a blood bank.

You may have the biggest pity party in the world. . .but God will never feel sorry for you.

Please understand this next statement because it is as scripturally accurate as they come:

God is not moved by your needs … only by your faith!

Matthew 9:29 says:

“Be it done according to your faith.”

It doesn’t say. . .it will be done according to your needs.

It doesn’t say. . .it will be done according to what you’re going through at the moment.

It doesn’t say. . .it will be done for the one with the most depressing story at the pity party.

God enables and empowers us to turn things around by and through His Word.

So, here’s the bottom line on why you shouldn’t host or even attend a pity party. . . you know God has His eye on you. Not only that, but He deeply values you. As the famous singer, Ethel Waters, used to say, “God don’t make no junk” . . . and she’s right … so we shouldn’t act like it.

How do we overcome the downward spiral of self-pity? The answers are found in 1 Thessalonians 5:17-21 in the Amplified Bible which says:

“17 Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly];

18 Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].

19 Do not quench (suppress or subdue) the [Holy] Spirit;

20 Do not spurn the gifts and utterances of the prophets [do not depreciate prophetic revelations nor despise inspired instruction or exhortation or warning].

21 But test and prove all things [until you can recognize] what is good; [to that] hold fast.”

Big surprise. . .there are seven keys in these verses to overcome self-pity and they are underlined to help you find them.

5.      Disillusionment

There are numerous scriptures which point out the (sometimes deadly) peril of following an illusion of truth perceived to be a self-image reality.

Proverbs 12:15 in the New Living Translation says:

Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.”

We’re to follow God’s direction giving Him the praise, honor and glory for all our successes.

Proverbs 14:12 in the Amplified Bible says:

“There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death.”

The truth in this verse is so powerful that it’s repeated word for work in Proverbs 16:25.

Proverbs 30:12 in the Amplified Bible says:

“There is a class of people who are pure in their own eyes, and yet are not washed from their own filth.”

An illusion of our own self-importance will cause us to lose focus. . .not only endangering our lives. . .but also our place of influence in God’s Kingdom.

Proverbs 26:12 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Do you see a man wise in his own eyes and conceit? There is more hope for a [self-confident] fool than for him.”

Everyone has illusions about themselves. . .in fact, we often judge others by what they do and ourselves by what we intend to do.

We judge ourselves by what we think instead of what the Word of God says. Consider Luke 6:46 in the New Living Translation which says:

“So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?”

Obeying His instructions in the Word. . .leads us in the way we should go.

1 John 5:13-15 in the Message Bible says:

“[The Reality, Not the Illusion ] My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion. And how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he’s listening. And if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that what we’ve asked for is as good as ours.”

6.      Idleness

If you ask the average Christian what sin is. . .they would probably say that it’s something you shouldn’t do. That can be true. . .but there’s a whole other dimension to sin.

Here are the seven sins of idleness.

First, knowing to do right and not doing it.

James 4:17 in the New Living Translation says:

“Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.”

Second, being lazy.

Proverbs 10:4 in the Amplified Bible says:

“He becomes poor who works with a slack and idle hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.”

Third, sticking our nose where it doesn’t belong.

2 Thessalonians 3:11 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Indeed, we hear that some among you are disorderly [that they are passing their lives in idleness, neglectful of duty], being busy with other people’s affairs instead of their own and doing no work.”

Fourth, not taking care of our personal business.

Proverbs 24:30-34 in the New Living Translation says:

“I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down. Then, as I looked and thought about it, I learned this lesson: A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.”

Fifth, meaningless and often harmful conversation.

Matthew 12:36 says:

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”

Matthew 12:36 in the Amplified Bible says:

“But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak.”

Sixth, sowing trouble.

Proverbs 16:27-29 in The Living Bible says:

“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece. An evil man sows strife; gossip separates the best of friends. Wickedness loves company—and leads others into sin.”

Seventh, failing to be about His business.

Luke 19:13 says:

“And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.”

God doesn’t want us idle or just bidding time. . .He wants us increasing all He’s entrusted to us.

The New Living Translation of Luke 19:13 says:

“Before he left, he called together ten of his servants and divided among them ten pounds of silver, saying, ‘Invest this for me while I am gone.’”

Ten pounds of silver at today’s market price would be nearly $2,948.

God never intended for us to be couch potatoes but … world changers, destiny shapers, mountain movers and wealth accumulators.

This should be our mindset for 2019 and every year beyond.

7.      Good intentions

John 13:17 in the Amplified Bible says:

“If you know these things, blessed and happy and to be envied are you if you practice them [if you act accordingly and really do them].”

People judge you by your actions not your intentions.

If you agree to do something and don’t. . .it means you didn’t believe in what you said you’d do. . .or you didn’t want to do it in the first place.

What you intended to do. . .doesn’t cut it. It’s what you do with what you’ve got.

Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher once said:

“No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions—he had money too.”

1 John 3:18 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Little children, let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity).”

Once again, it’s not what we talk about doing. . .it’s what we do.

James Boswell, the 18th century Scottish lawyer and author, is quoted as penning this well-known axiom:

"Hell is paved with good intentions."

Actions must be taken and followed through for the intention to become a reality.

Boswell’s quote is a summary of human nature not to follow through on what is right. James tells us this is sin.

Remember James 4:17 we quoted earlier says: “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

I am sure in Hell, there may be many with good intentions who are surprised to end up there.