A person’s own folly leads to their ruin, yet their heart rages against the LORD. -Proverbs 19:3
So what does the Bible say about personal responsibility?
Throughout the Bible, the real problem was not the Philistines, Egyptians, Syrians, or Romans. It was not the Red Sea, the lack of water, or the absence of food for the people. Nothing could hinder God’s purpose for his people other than the people themselves.
I find it interesting that humility is not one of the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5. I think this is probably because it is one of those qualities that works its way into all of the fruits of the Spirit. All of the good qualities Christians are to posses have an element of humility within them. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control … you can’t have any of these things without humility.
Throughout the book of Proverbs, it seems every chapter has nuggets of truth regarding humility and pride. They seem to play role in everything good or bad described in Proverbs. Humility helps your relationship with God, with people, with your finances. And so rather than zero in on one of these elements, I’d like to take a bigger view this morning and ask the question, “How can we be humble and not proud?”
1 Peter 5:10, Psalm 34:19
Life is painful. With every increase of joy and happiness comes a greater and greater likelihood of experiencing loss. The more important something becomes to you, the more it hurts when it’s taken away. And so if you allow your heart to be open to anything good at all, you also are opening your heart to a very real possibility of being wounded deeply.
So what should we do? It feels like life is one big unwinnable catch-22. We want to experience happiness in this life, and yet to open ourselves up to the possibility of happiness is to make ourselves vulnerable to pain. And yet if we stay closed off to the possibility of pleasure in relationships, careers, churches, and in all the other areas which culminate to make a full, rich life, we may go unscathed but we also will go on living a boring, safe life where our need for safety is also steeling our need for joy.
Is greatness contagious? I think so, along with weakness. Both the splendor and sin of the human spirit are cultivated through the companions with which one invests his time. Who you spend time with is not the only variable in our development, but it is a very crucial one.
Always, when you do a little digging, you will find that those truly admirable were inspired by and (to some degree) sculpted by other great men and women surrounding them. Children whose parents are professional athletes or gifted academically seem to have a greater knack for similar accolades. Sure, one can make a case that it’s all in the genes, but surely this is not the main variable in the equation of greatness.
For a New Testament list of Bible verses on the “Sabbath” by BibleGateway.com, click here.
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.-Hebrews 4:9-10
Have you ever been burned out? Just over done from the grilling flames of the day-to-day grind we all endure? The natural remedy, we think, to being overworked is to get time away from work. Isn’t this one of the main reasons we look forward to the holiday seasons so much?
True rest is not the absence of responsibility; real rest is being in the intimate presence of the Lord. Therefore, if we seek to rejuvenate ourselves simply through the absence of responsibility, this is a quick fix that will not last because it is based in a works theology. We think we can gain our own rest through our actions, or in this case, our lack of actions.
We all have them. It can start early in the morning after you oversleep and now your late as you rush the kids to school. It can begin during your lunch hour when your coworker keeps disagreeing with everything you say. Or it can come out of nowhere as you try to control your temper during an unexpected traffic jam on the way home from a long work week.
The infamous “bad day” discriminates against no one. These days make us feel so helpless. It just seems like no matter how hard you try, annoying stuff just keeps happening. So what can be done? What does the Bible say about having a bad day?
While the Bible certainly does not talk about how to overcome bad days, it does give a lot of information about joy, perseverance, and overcoming evil. So here are 16 biblical ways you can fight back next time you get assaulted by a “bad day.”
Ephesians 2:10, Proverbs 6:10-11, Exodus 20:8-10
The difference between laziness and restfulness is that laziness terminates on itself. The lazy man seeks to rest as an end goal in itself. Biblical rest is not done to idolize personal relaxation, but to relax so one will be better equipped to work for God.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” – James 1:19-20
What does the Bible say about anger? It’s a poignant question considering the state of American affairs right now. I’m sure you’re as sick of talking about politics as I am after one of the most brutal Presidential elections in recent history, so I won’t turn this into another online vent sessions – God knows there’s enough of those at this moment in time.
But people are angry right now, on both sides of the political ticket and the ideological spectrum. So what does the Bible say about anger and bitterness? Where does anger come from and how can we manage it? Is trying to manage anger even biblical? Can we be angry without sinning?
1 John 1:8
There are always reasons why we sin, but there is never an excuse. In a day and age where everyone who attends high school is required to take a course in Psychology 101, where you can turn on the TV and watch Dr. Phil do a live counseling session, and where every behavioral problem in children is apparently linked back to a genetic problem solvable by medication, we are a society prone to look for the “root issue of the problem.”
It’s certainly not wrong to take a deeper look at how someone was raised, what genetic dispositions they may have, or how society has negatively shaped an individual. The Bible itself makes clear that bad actions (sin) are rooted not in the surface decisions being made but deeper, in the sinful nature (Galatians 5:17).
There are already so many great books on Christian singleness. Just do a Google search on “books on Christian singleness,” “Christian books about being single,” “best books for Christian singles,” “Christian books on finding a spouse,” “finding a godly husband,” “how to be a Christian in college.”
The results will be endless.
I’m sure you will find a lot of helpful advice in these Christian books about singleness. However, most of these Christian books about being single focus on one aspect of singleness: your relationship with God, godly dating, finding contentment as a Christian single, how to find a Christian spouse, and other such topics.
I believe the Ultimate Guide to Christian Singleness is so special because it covers nearly every common question asked about singleness. I get right to the point in these thirty chapters. I don’t waste time with long stories. And I give you extremely practical steps to take in each of the four stages most Christian singles go through. It’s great for small group Bible studies or for individuals too.
If you want answers, this book on Christian singleness was written for you.
Below is the full description. I hope you enjoy it. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at MarkBallenger@ApplyGodsWord.com.
Hoping you find the love, security, and guidance you need during your season of Christian singleness.
For God’s glory and our good,