As we draw this study to a close – let’s review what we have learned.
We are studying mistakes or pitfalls that many Christians fall into and thus destroy the potential that is available in them as believers. We have looked carefully at…
1> Allow yourself to be bitter against someone who has hurt or offended you
2> Use your time, your money, and your resources only for yourself and your needs
3> Spend little to no time with the Lord in solitude – just you and Him alone
4> Neglect reading the Scriptures (your Bible)
5> Defame others or misrepresent them or their work (especially fellow believers).
6> Rarely (or never) read books with spiritual depth or listen to Christ-centered messages by other servants of God.
7> Have no fellowship or relationship with other believers. Live as a solo Christian.
8> Let envy and jealousy take hold of your heart and drive your actions
Envy and jealousy are often the root behind slander (see #1 and #5 in this series). Incidentally, countless Christians don’t know what slander looks like and fail to recognize it when it is right in front of them But, know what it is or not, engaging or listening to slander proves toxic to your spiritual life.
Slander is …The noun
A false tale or report maliciously uttered. and tending to injure the reputation of another by lessening him in the esteem of his fellow citizens, by exposing them to impeachment and punishment, or by impairing their means of making a living; defamation.
Slander is … The verb
Disgrace; reproach; disreputation; ill name.
To defame; to injure by maliciously uttering a false report respecting a person; to tarnish or impair the reputation of one by false tales, maliciously told or propagated.
The Bible calls this giving an “evil report” and God does not turn a blind eye to any situation where an evil report is present.
9> Never learn from your mistakes not take responsibility for them.
Blame others instead. Blame your past and claim victim status. Blame the situation you now live in. Blame the circumstances of life. Never take responsibility for what is happening in or around you.
An example: “I drink because of my wife, my job, and the current situation I am facing in my life.”
That is a person who is blaming other people or other things and is not taking responsibility for their own behaviour. They drink because they have made a choice to do so. No one or any thing is forcing them to pour that alcohol into the glass and down their throat. (Feel free to substitute your word for “drink”… eat, spend, do drugs, watch pornography.
These people never apologize for their behaviour, attitude or the harm they have inflicted on others. They never even recognize the people they have wronged.
10> Waste every crisis that comes into your life.
A crisis is a difficult and unwelcome opportunity to discover Jesus Christ in a new way. Don’t look for the hand of God behind the crisis and submit to it. Forget James and Peter who both said, “Humble yourself under God’s mighty hand, and He will exalt you.”
1 Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
James 4:10 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
Instead – blame God and others and feel sorry for yourself. That way you will not grow through the crisis or learn anything that might help you be a better person and a more mature Christian.
The above 10 points we have been looking at over the last few days are in no particular order. And, many other points can, I am sure, be added to the list. But each of these is a sure-fire way to hamper your growth in Christ and waste your time being a follower of Jesus.