7 Reasons Some People Are Not Successful

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I’m not a big proponent of reverse motivation or psychology.

I like the direct. . .and yes, always the positive approach to every situation.

Except. . .this time.

Very clearly, God directed me to write the seven reasons some people are not successful.

I thought “Lord, why can’t I make this `seven reasons people are successful.’  His response was simple and direct…“Because I didn’t tell you to.”

Needless to say, in obedience to His divine direction here are seven reasons why people are not successful.

1.         Ignorance

2 Corinthians 2:11 says:

“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

God does not want you ignorant.  Period.  Paragraph.

1 Peter 2:15 says:

“For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” 

According to the Strong’s Concordance the word ignorance means:  “not knowing.”

Simply said, ignorance is not knowing the facts.  Stupidity is knowing the facts but choosing not to do anything with or about that information and insight.

Ignorance is not incurable but sadly it is communicable.

There is no shame in not knowing . . . only in choosing to remain ignorant.

There are several times in scripture where the Word says “I would not have you ignorant.”  God does not want you to be ignorant of anything.

He doesn’t want you ignorant of salvation. . .He wants you born-again.  John 3:3

He doesn’t want you ignorant of healing. . .He wants you walking in divine health.  I Peter 2:24

He doesn’t want you ignorant of effective prayer. . .He wants you talking to Him and possessing what He’s promised.  James 5:16

He doesn’t want you ignorant of biblical prosperity. . .He wants you walking in abundance.  John 10:10

He doesn’t want you ignorant of His spiritual gifts. . .He wants signs and wonders following you.  Mark 16:20; Acts 2:43: 14:3

He doesn’t want you ignorant of how to live a Godly life. . .that’s why He’s given you His Word.

He doesn’t want you ignorant of His precious promises to you. . .He wants you manifesting them in your life.  Numbers 23:19

God doesn't want us ignorant of His Word because His Word is His will for our lives.  But that's why the enemy will do everything possible to keep you from reading the Word.

2.         Stupidity

Benjamin Franklin said:

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

Isaiah 44:18 in the New Living Translation says:

“Such stupidity and ignorance! Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see. Their minds are shut, and they cannot think.” 

Stupid means you don’t know and you have no desire to know.

As Forrest Gump once said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Scripture has seven things to say about being stupid and none of them are positive.

First, stupid people don’t have common sense. Proverbs 30:2 in the New Living Translation says:

“I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense.” 

Second, stupid people only get worse without divine intervention.  Proverbs 14:24 in the Message Bible says:

“The wise accumulate wisdom; fools get stupider by the day.” 

Third, stupid people make bad financial decisions.  Proverbs 17:18 in the Message Bible says:

“It's stupid to try to get something for nothing, or run up huge bills you can never pay.” 

Fifth, stupid people create their own failures.  Proverbs 19:3 in the Message Bible says:

“People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed?” 

Sixth, stupid people don’t think before they speak.  Proverbs 18:13 in the Message Bible says:

“Answering before listening is both stupid and rude.” 

Seventh, stupid people aren’t so willing to receive correction.  Proverbs 12:1 in the New Living Translation says:

“To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.” 

Proverbs 26:4 in the Message Bible says:

“Don't respond to the stupidity of a fool; you'll only look foolish yourself.”

How do you go from being stupid to intelligent?  The answer is found in Proverbs 18:15 in The Living Bible which says:


“. . .The intelligent man is always open to new ideas. In fact, he looks for them.”

3.         Lazy

“Tomorrow is the only day in the year that appeals to a lazy man.”  Jimmy Lyons

Here are seven reasons why lazy people aren’t successful.

First, a lazy person will lead a dirt-poor life.

Proverbs 6:6 in the Message Bible says:

“…So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing? How long before you get out of bed? A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next? Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, poverty your permanent houseguest!”  

Second, lazy people will lose whatever wealth they do have.

Proverbs 10:4 in the New Living Translation says:

“Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.” 

Third, a lazy employee is an irritation to his/her employer.

Proverbs 10:26 in the Message Bible says:

“A lazy employee will give you nothing but trouble; it's vinegar in the mouth, smoke in the eyes.” 

Fourth, a lazy person is not capable of success.

Proverbs 12:24 in The Living Bible says:

“Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and never succeed.” 

Fifth, a lazy person will never find fulfillment and/or satisfaction in life.

Proverbs 12:27 in the Message Bible says:

“A lazy life is an empty life, but "early to rise" gets the job done.” 

Sixth, a lazy person’s wealth will always be a dream, never reality.

Proverbs 13:4 in the New Living Translation says:

“Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.”

Seventh, a lazy person will be followed by trouble wherever they go and whatever they do.

Proverbs 15:19 in The Living Bible says:

“A lazy fellow has trouble all through life; the good man’s path is easy!”              

4.         Lack of motivation

If you’re not motivated toward success…then you’ll never  the station nor arrive at your destination.

The scripture offers very specific advice on what it takes to be motivated. . .for the right and the wrong reasons.

First, you’re motivated by love.

Hebrews 10:24 in the New Living Translation says:

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”

Second, you’re motivated by example.

Proverbs 16:10 in the Message Bible says:

“A good leader motivates, doesn't mislead, doesn't exploit.”

Third, you’re motivated by helping others.

Romans 15:14-15 in the Message Bible says:

“Personally, I’ve been completely satisfied with who you are and what you are doing. You seem to me to be well-motivated and well-instructed, quite capable of guiding and advising one another.”

Fourth, you’re motivated by envy.

Ecclesiastes 4:4 in the Message Bible says:

“Then I observed all the work and ambition motivated by envy. What a waste! Smoke. And spitting into the wind.”

Fifth, you’re motivated by faith.

Hebrews 11:27 in the Amplified Bible says:

“[Motivated] by faith he left Egypt behind him, being unawed and undismayed by the wrath of the king; for he never flinched but held staunchly to his purpose and endured steadfastly as one who gazed on Him Who is invisible.”

Sixth, you’re motivated by hope.

1 Thessalonians 1:3 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Recalling unceasingly before our God and Father your work energized by faith and service motivated by love and unwavering hope in [the return of] our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).”

Seventh, you’re motivated for the right reasons.

1 Peter 5:2 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Tend (nurture, guard, guide, and fold) the flock of God that is [your responsibility], not by coercion or constraint, but willingly; not dishonorably motivated by the advantages and profits [belonging to the office], but eagerly and cheerfully.”

5.         Lack of Commitment

“What’s my motivation” is often an expression of an actor or actress trying to understand the intent of the script or the director.

Truthfully, if you have to ask what your motivation is. . .you don’t have or won’t get it, in my opinion.

No disrespect to the acting community especially since our first-born daughter is an aspiring actress and . . .a very good one.

Alfred Hitchcock, the famed movie and television director said:

“When an actor comes to me and wants to discuss his character, I say, 'It's in the script.' If he says, 'But what's my motivation?, ' I say, 'Your salary.'

Motivation for something gets you up in the morning.

Zig Ziglar, the pre-eminent sales trainer, motivator and Southern Baptist layman said:

“People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.”

The most interesting thing about people who are unmotivated is they’re never bored . . . as it seems there are always a lot things they should or could be doing.

What should one of our major motivations?  Good deeds.

Titus 2:14 in the New Living Translation says:

“He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.”

One more thing. . .which I need to say about being committed and it’s from a quote by

Raymond Chandler, the mystery novelist, who said:

“Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”

6.         Lack of Focus

Some years back. . .truthfully, I don’t remember what year or  who said it. . .but someone said what you focus on expands in your life.  That’s a powerful rich thought.

If you focus on being broke, you’ll be broke.  I’ve heard it said that rich people focus on what they want and poor people focus on what they don’t have.

If you focus on being successful, you’ll be successful.

If you focus on being debt-free, you’ll be debt-free.

If you focus on scandals, that’s what you’ll get.

As I was pondering this thought.  The Lord took me to 1 Peter 1:13 which says,

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind. . .”

The word gird means to protect.  So you could say that scripture means to gird or protect the loins of your mind.

Mindin this verse, as it is in many verses, in the New Testament is more properly translated as “imagination.”

So this particular verse is saying, “gird up, protect the loins of your mind or imagination.”

As you know, “loins” is an anatomical term; it’s involves reproduction between a man and a woman.

In the final analysis, verse 13 is saying “protect what you are reproducing in your imagination.”

If you’re watching trashy stuff on TV or in the movies, the question you have to ask yourself is what you are reproducing in your imagination.

When you focus on the pure, the powerful and the positive from the Word of God, that’s what you’ll be reproducing in your imagination.

7.         Lack of Spiritual Depth

There’s a great reason why I encourage people with seven words: “Read Your Bible. . . Do What It Says.”

When trouble comes and your faith has the spiritual depth of a saucer you’re going to be tossed about to and fro. Ephesians 4:14

I’m not a physical trainer but a fiscal trainer yet there are certain things that I know to be true in developing your body.

First, it is a medical fact that if you don’t use your muscles on a regular basis that atrophy sets in.

Atrophy is defined on dictionary.com as:

“degeneration, decline, or decrease, as from disuse.”

The old saying is: use it or lose it.  Use your muscles or lose them.

Wikipedia says that atrophy “. . .can occur after prolonged immobility, such as extended bedrest, or having a body part in a cast (living in darkness for the eye, bedridden for the legs etc.). This type of atrophy can usually be reversed with exercise. . .”

In essence, the more you use a muscle the stronger it greats.

In any workout program, after you’ve worked at a certain level, you need to increase the resistance or strenuousness of the exercise in order to maximize the strengthening and development process.

Faith is like a muscle. . .the more you use it. . .the stronger it gets. . .the deeper your revelation and reaction to adversity.  You can’t let up on either one or they will begin to let loose,

Tony Robbins, the motivational speaker, said:

“Problems are God’s resistance to create spiritual muscles.”

Right words. . .create success.  Wrong words can lead to wrong behavior which creates failure.

I believe this teaching is not meant to point out the bad examples as much as it is in helping you become even more successful.