(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 3)
So you want to move forward in life? You’re tired of feeling like if you’re stuck in a dry, parched wilderness and want to move on to better pastures?
All of us do. It is no fun feeling perpetually stuck in the same place, month after month, year after year but are we contributing to our own situation? Is it possible that there is something that we are doing which is keeping us stuck in the land of sterility?
We want a better career and job, so bad! We want to find a good man and marry so bad! We want our financial problems to go away so bad! We want (if we’re married), to have a baby so bad but could we be contributing to God holding back these blessings, if it is within his will to grant them?
I would say that the answer to that is YES.
While it is possible to please God and still feel like we are stuck in life (Job and Joseph are cases in point), there are things that we may be doing that may be gluing us down and we don’t even realize it. If we are Christians, God may have been telling us about these things and practices for some time but we are either pretending that we have not heard or are refusing to listen.
In particular, there are mindsets that we can adopt which are counterproductive to our progress. These mindsets then inform our actions and if our mindsets are displeasing to God, our actions that have been birthed from such thinking, will also be.
It doesn’t matter what the situation is. We are to guard our hearts and minds against these mentalities that are always eager to take root, so as to keep us stuck in the land of sterility.
Here is a list of seven (7) negative mindsets I’ve compiled, that may be keeping us stuck in our life:
Negative Mindset 1 – BITTERNESS AND NON-FORGIVENESS
This is nursed hurt of what people did to us or what we think they did to us, that we refuse to let go of. It therefore grows into bitterness and festers into non-forgiveness.
What they did to us may have been really awful and we are permitted to feel hurt. However, we are not allowed to continue to hold on to the hurt, day in, day out, week in, week out. If we refuse to forgive and let go, we will not be able to move forward. We would be like a bird with wings that wants to soar but can’t because it is tied to a large rock and so can’t go anywhere.
Hebrews 12:15 warns us:
- “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled…”
If we don’t forgive people for their wrongs or perceived wrongs against us and not with mere words but from deep inside our heart, then God will also not forgive us of our wrongs, which we know are many.
Our wrongs against God, from the day we were born into this world, to date are much more than the number of wrongs that any one human being has done against us. To hold people’s wrongs against them therefore but yet expect God to forgive us of ours and bless us is hypocritical. He will not.
In Matthew 18:21-22, it states of Peter’s conversation with Jesus:
- “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”
Also, in Matthew 6, in giving an example of how we should pray, Jesus included a part where we should seek forgiveness from God for our wrongs. He then stated that if we do not forgive people, God will not forgive us.
- “And after this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name…Give us our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors…For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Ephesians 4:32 states: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
On the whole, as sinful, imperfect human beings, even after we have come to Christ and have been redeemed by his blood, we will still hurt people and be hurt by people. We must therefore always be in a mode of repentance where we have wronged people and in a mode of forgiveness, when they have wronged us. Forgiveness may not happen overnight when the wound is sore but even then, we must come to God and ask him to help us to forgive. If we do and we have a genuine desire to obey him on this matter, he will get us to a place where we are able to let go of the hurt and forgive the one who sinned against us.
Just when I think I have overcome in the area of forgiveness, there comes that Church sister with a piece of drama or pettiness, that threatens to pull me back into that web of hurt and bitterness again. I have no desire to be a part of it but yet she continues the nonsense week after week.
What am I to do but to desperately ask the Lord for strength continuously and to forgive, as God’s Word requires, each and every single time the ugliness rears its head?
Sometimes, when I’m tired of it because I have done her no wrong, I find myself being tempted to hold on to the hurt she has caused but I can’t! I have to fight! I have to pray for myself AND for her! I have to grow in love so that it will be enough to cover the multitude of sins! We (because we are both sisters in Christ) cannot allow the devil to win!
In particular, I have to always be checking my hurt meter, as the devil will allow people, even in the Church, to provoke you and treat you unkindly. However, I have to forgive quickly and sometimes, keep forgiving week after week when the behaviour shows no signs of abating, as if I don’t, my hurt will grow into bitterness and bitterness is VERY difficult to get rid of.
Negative Mindset 2 – GOSSIPING, BADMOUTHING AND INSULTING
Gossiping, badmouthing and insulting others, speaks loudly of the condition of our hearts.
When we feel the need to spread the business of others, enjoy their pain, laugh, comment nastily about them and criticize their situation with others when we don’t even know all the facts, we are revealing how malicious, wicked, non-forgiving, envious and venomous our hearts are and also that we are not happy with our lives.
Putting down others with our tongue (no matter how subtle we may try to do it or how we may try to make it seem like we are talking out, like Miriam and Aaron claimed to be doing, about unrighteousness) is clearly seen by God for the ugliness that it is and we cannot expect to advance in life, when we engage in such practices.
The longer we do so, the more addictive it becomes and although it brings satisfaction to our wicked hearts in the moment, we must admit that we go away feeling even more miserable with ourselves. This is especially if we say we are Christians because deep down, we know, that God is not at all pleased with our nasty behaviour.
I personally have been very guilty of this in the past and after not listening to God’s repeated voice of conviction on the issue, I was chastened so severely and for so long, I thought I would die. In those moments, completely broken by God, I repented of my sin and turned away from that wicked way. I still fail every now and then and still need to come to God and repent but there has been a drastic change since then in my life, as I have generally given up my gossiping ways, even when I know the message is true. For, truth does not justify this evil practice.
If, as a Christian, you find it difficult to be happy for people, especially those that God blesses with something that you want and if deep down, you enjoy the fact that that person that you dislike or who hurt you is hurting, going through tough times and storms (because misery loves company), don’t expect God to bless you with anything good.
What is the sense in crying out to God with long crocodile tears for that husband or that new job, if you can’t be happy for your Church sister or family member who is getting married or has just been promoted? If the Lord, who hears your every word and sees your heart were to give you ten times as much of whatever you are wishing in your heart for others, what would your life look like?
Proverbs 24:17-18 states: “Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the Lord see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.”
In the household of faith, God expects us to be a loving support, (not a troublemaker) to others of like faith, whether they are going through a mountain top or valley experience. Instead of badmouthing or criticizing them behind their backs with others (and this usually comes from a place of jealousy and envy), we should celebrate with them in their good times and pray for them in their bad.
Romans 12:15 states: “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”
Negative Mindset 3 – COMPLAINING AND FRETTING
I am not going to say much on this issue as it is self-explanatory. I will remind you though, that God hates complaining because it comes from a place of discontentment, a lack of trust in him, his power, his timing and his will and reveals that we have no faith or very little.
We would do well to remember that God kept the Israelites going around in circles through the wilderness for FORTY LONG AND DIFFICULT YEARS before taking them into the Promised Land, when the journey could have taken mere days. Even so, when he did take them in, it was their children, as (with the exception of Caleb and Joshua), they all died on the way and before they could have the opportunity to enter. This was mainly because of their complaining, murmuring and fretting ways, which, although it was done to Moses, God took it personally, as an insult against Him.
The wilderness was not a pleasant place but God wanted the Israelites to trust him while in it, not turn against him and the leader he had appointed. He was like: I know the wilderness is not the ideal place. I don’t intend to keep you there forever but trust me. Be content in the fact that I am with you. Be satisfied in my presence.
Psalm 78:13-16 states of God and the wonderful things that he did for Israel when he delivered them from bondage in Egypt and guided them through the wilderness, that:
- “He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as an heap. In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire. He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths. He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.”
Yet, in ingratitude, the Bible continues in verses 17-20, that:
- “…they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness. And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust. Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people?”
The Israelites therefore had hearts that were not content with what God had done for them and where he had them at the moment but hearts that were DISSATISFIED. They wanted more, right at that moment and complained when they did not get their way. They had hearts of UNBELIEF and so limited God. They knew he had power to provide them with water, which they had seen with their eyes but they doubted that he could provide them with bread and meat. They had hearts that DID NOT TRUST God, his plan, his purpose for their lives and his timing and so, given that their hearts were full of discontentment, doubt and distrust, they complained against God.
Discontentment in life, doubting God and distrusting him and his plan for our lives are often the precursors to a complaining, fretting spirit.
If you are nursing a ‘woe is me’ or victim mentality and have a tendency to see and complain about all that is wrong with your life and your situation, then don’t expect God to change anything. For, you are being ungrateful for all that he has blessed you with, including your life and the very mouth you are using to complain. You may be saying that you are a Christian but your actions reveal that you clearly have no faith in what God may be trying to do in your life.
Hebrews 11:6 states: “..without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
God loves it when we give him thanks and praise, no matter what we face because it shows that we trust his plan for our lives, even if we do not like where we are at the moment. It also shows that we are content with wherever he would have us, even if we would have chosen somewhere else to be.
In 1 Corinthians 7 which mainly addresses the different relationship statuses of single, married or widowed people, Paul states in verse 24 to those that are Christians: “Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.”
In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 it states: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
In Philippians 4:11, Paul declared after everything he had been through: “… For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”
When Job got news that he had lost all of his riches and his children in one day, such news was devastating, traumatic and deeply painful. Yet, in his immediate response to such grief, the Bible states:
- “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground and worshipped. And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken way; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
The Bible goes on to state that “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”
When we complain and are dissatisfied with our lives, what we are really doing is cursing God, although in an indirect manner. If we don’t trust him with our lives and we use the mouthpiece he has given to us to go on and on about our unfortunate portion and our problems and our woes, then how can we expect God to move on our behalf?
Negative Mindset 4 – RESENTMENT, REBELLION AND NON-SUBMISSION
When those who have authority over us, hurt us, provoke us, treat us unfairly or even when we are not pleased with the direction they are taking or what they are doing or how they are governing, there is a tendency to develop resentment in our hearts, which, if not addressed quickly, then grows into rebellion and non-submission.
Authority comes in different forms. God has given authority to your parents (even if you are an adult), your Church leaders, work Supervisors and husbands. He expects us to submit to them, no matter how difficult they may be, provided they do not want us to engage in wrongdoing.
Ephesians 6:1-9 states:
- Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth…Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord whether he be bond or free.”
Submitting respectfully to authority does not mean that God is pleased with all of the behaviour of those in authority or that he has given them free rein to abuse us. However, God expects us to obey what he has said for us to do and he will deal with the authority when the authority is out of line, in his own time and his own way.
In Romans 12:19 it states: “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
When we are provoked or have been treated wickedly or unfairly by those in authority, when we don’t take it to the Lord and leave it there but decide to fight back because we feel hurt, then we are disobeying God and he will punish us.
When we join with a Trade Union that is disrespectful and rebellious to the government (which ever government it may be) and we hit the road in support to strike against that authority or we go-slow because of low pay or any other issue of which we are disgruntled, we are going against God’s Word and if we are Christians, we will be chastened for this.
God can increase our salary at any time and take us through new and better doors in life but we must obey. Instead of fighting back and refusing to submit, we should spend time praying to God about the issue, while continuing to submit, as he can change the heart of any man and any situation.
We must let go of the mindset of rebellion, disrespect and non-submission, when it comes to those who God has allowed to have authority over us, whether they are Christians or not.
Romans 13:1-2 states:
- “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”
Romans 6:1-6 states:
- “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
The main area that the Lord has been convicting me on lately (in addition to others from time to time) is on rebellion and non-submission. Even if sorely provoked, harassed and badly treated by someone in authority, I have learned that I am to still honour that authority, as established, for whatever season or purpose, by God and I am to submit to that authority, as unto the Lord.
This does not mean that I am to do wrong if the authority wishes me to engage in same but I can respectfully decline.
It is when we throw respect and honour to the wind, as I confess I have done in the past, that the problem begins. It is when we fight back (as I am prone to do because I hate injustice and I hate to be hurt and insulted), that I am being rebellious and non-submissive, which does not please God.
Today, when I heard the issue raised again by a Minister of the Word on a Christian radio station, I agreed that God’s Word and stance on the position was right and I was wrong. I therefore acknowledged before God, that I had sinned, asked for his forgiveness and for his help in having the right attitude in relation to authority, especially authority at the workplace.
Having the right attitude to authority will by no means be easy, as it will mean dying to self. It will mean taking insult after insult, not letting it harbour into bitterness but forgiving and not fighting back when false accusations are thrown my way or I am treated in the most despicable manner and provoked.
In such times, I will need to keep at the centre of my mind, that this person or these people are in positions of authority as allowed by God and I will need to hold my peace, instead of finding ways to retaliate, like badmouthing them to other people, which I admit I have done in the past.
Negative Mindset 5 – LOW SELF-ESTEEM
All of us have insecurities. I don’t think that I have ever met a man or woman, no matter how beautiful, how rich or how happy in life they appear to be, that has not had areas in his or her life that he or she feels insecure about. It is because of these insecurities that are intrinsic to our fallen nature as human beings, that we need Jesus, so that while we are insecure in ourselves and our abilities and our appearance, we can be secure IN HIM.
Apart from our insecurities however, many of us women have low self-esteem and this is a negative mindset.
Not only does it do damage within but it usually motivates such a person to go out and wreak havoc in the lives of others or to try to over compensate, by working really hard to please others.
The mentality often is, since I feel so badly about myself, I want everybody to feel badly too or since I feel so badly about myself, this means I must work extra hard to be accepted by others.
Up until my early twenties, I suffered from low self-esteem, mainly as a result of abuses I endured as a child because of my very dark complexion and other issues. While this did not make me want to go out and hurt others, I did enjoy gossiping and badmouthing, which is a method used to inflict hurt indirectly on others or to make them seem less favourable in the eyes of others. I also felt the need to please everybody and found it hard to say no.
People therefore saw me as a doormat. I was the person that everyone came to when they wanted help with something because they knew I would be ready to help, no matter what the cost to me was. Such persons were never interested in a genuine friendship with me but only remembered I existed when they needed something or advice or a pep-talk.
Low self-esteem when not admitted to and addressed, then bears the ugly fruit of discontentment, sadness, desperation, jealousy, envy and covetousness. This then usually leads to negative mindset number 2 above, which is gossiping, badmouthing and insulting. It also gives birth in some, to an obsession with attention and the need to be praised by others, which borders on idolatry.
Having low self-esteem is therefore dangerous and many women, sometimes even the most beautiful, suffer from this and refuse to be honest with themselves about it.
Low self-esteem can only be cured when we are first honest with ourselves and with God and we ask him to heal our hearts and minds. I admitted my problem to the Lord in my early twenties and God did such a work in me, that, although I do still have insecurities which I place at the feet of Jesus almost daily, I no longer have low self-esteem.
I now know my value and my worth as a daughter of the King and the change has been quite transforming. Those who may have benefited or capitalized in those early days when I felt awful about myself, know that they no longer can. They can tell that I love myself and expect to be treated with the respect I deserve.
Negative Mindset 6 – SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS AND NON-REPENTANCE
People often speak about the importance of a Christian having a prayer life and spending time in the Word. However, I hardly ever hear about the need for a Christian to have a repentant life.
This is very important as God will not answer prayer, in most cases, if we have done wrong and refuse to repent.
Many of us have said all manner of evil about others and done them all manner of wrongs but yet we delude ourselves into thinking, that God has forgotten all about it, when we have never confessed our sin to him and asked for forgiveness. Many have committed sins secretly and continue on as if God has not seen them or has put what they have done on a back burner. Some have even spoken badly of God or of his Word or of something that he has pronounced blessing on and yet have never repented.
Even if you, as a Christian, committed a sexual sin ten years ago or stole something that long ago from work or gossiped wickedly about that Church sister or brother eons ago, if you never got to a place where you felt godly sorrow for your wickedness and poured out your heart to the Lord in repentance, then, you are still a Christian because you have been justified but it is only when you confess your sin before God, that he is faithful and just to forgive you for that sin, which undermines your closely walking with him and reaping the blessings he has in store for you (1 John 1:9).
God is willing to forgive and forget but only after we have come to him and admitted what we have done and tell him that we are genuinely sorry.
If you are a Christian, maybe you are thinking that you have done so much wrong over the years and have grown so accustomed to not going to God in repentance for it, that you can’t even remember all the wicked things you have done to people and against God.
If that is your situation and you are feeling convicted right at this moment, you need to go prayerfully to the Lord and ask him to reveal any area in your life where you would have done wrong and not repented. For those that you do remember though, you need to repent and for that specific sin, not so that you can advance in life but because you realize how wrong you were and that God’s ways were right.
Please do not be like a woman I know in her seventies, who, in her young days, decided as a professing believer, to disobey God by marrying an unbeliever but yet, upon my enquiry, she informed me that she has never once repented to the Lord about this sin. She has reaped the fruit of her disobedience though, as that man left her and their children for another woman, while she spent the rest of her life by herself.
She still grieves about the situation but she has still not repented, so the sin remains over her head. God can do nothing of significance in her life, so long as she refuses to repent.
Daughter of God, put that magnifying glass over your heart and see it for the ugliness it is. That is the first step to godly sorrow, which then leads to repentance. If you can’t see anything wrong with you, then ask God (as I did many years ago), to remove the blinders from your eyes, to deliver you from any self-righteousness and to reveal to you any ugliness in your heart or life that he hates, that you need to have addressed.
Trust me, he will reveal it to you. I got such an avalanche of a list afterwards, that I felt overwhelmed by all the things I had to have fixed. Thankfully, Jesus is always willing and available to help us, as we seek to remove the dross from our heart.
1 John 1:9 states: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
If we don’t confess our sins to the Lord and we continue on as if we have not sinned, then we are only fooling ourselves, not God. We will be stuck in the land of sterility until we humble ourselves, see the ugliness of our ways, be honest with God and ask him to forgive us.
For some people, it is hard to look themselves in the mirror and to admit that they are ugly inside. It usually will reduce them to tears. It is easier for them to point fingers at others, so as to not deal with themselves. Yet, an honest assessment of self is what God requires before he can clean us up and make something new out of our lives.
We must be broken before he can build us up. We must loathe our sin and the attitudes that we have that displease God before we go to God to confess what we are guilty of and ask for his forgiveness. This requires a posture of humility. The proud person will much prefer to delude himself or herself into thinking that he or she did not sin or that it wasn’t that big of a deal or that it was justified in light of the circumstances or that at least he or she did not sin as much as so and so. Yet, remaining proud and unrepentant will get us nowhere.
Contrary to popular belief, cleansing and repentance is not just for unbelievers. Whenever a Christian sins against God, that Christian needs to be cleansed by God and forgiven if fellowship is to be restored and therefore needs to genuinely come to a place of repentance. If this was not so, then 1 John 1:9 which was written to Christians, would not have been recorded in the Bible.
It is important to note as well that this is necessary not just for sexual sin but all kinds of sin that the Christian may be guilty of committing against God. Sin is anything we do or do not do that is outside the mind and will of God, that goes against his Word and that therefore amounts to disobedience and rebellion. All sin affects the closeness of our walk and fellowship with God.
Repentance should be part of the Christian’s lifestyle, as it was King David’s, a man that God describes as a man after his own heart. When a Christian repents, it is not unto salvation, as that Christian is already saved if he is truly abiding in Christ. It is however, a repentance that is needed for God’s restorative waters to flow again in the life of that Christian.
Negative Mindset 7 – DISOBEDIENCE AND WAYWARDNESS
If we want to know what God says about a topic or how he feels about it, all we need to do is spend time in the Bible, reading.
Many of us know what God says not to do and to do and yet we choose to disobey him.
In Luke 12:47, Jesus stated of those who profess Christ but disobey what they know he has instructed them to do: “And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.”
God says not to gossip and be a troublemaker and yet we go out and do just that. He says not to lie and to order our conversation aright yet we go out and speak lies and use expletives. He says not to commit fornication and not to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever, yet we think that because we love the guy so much, God will understand.
God says to forgive those who have wronged us, yet we pretend to forgive but keep holding on to what they have done and concocting ways to get back at them maliciously for it at some future time. God says we need to be happy for the joys of others yet, when we hear that that Church sister is getting married or that co-worker and her husband are expecting a beautiful baby, we get jealous, grumpy, sad and envious because we are full of ourselves and think, how dare God grant them that and not me!
When we choose to disobey, we seal our fate in the land of sterility. For, God may still choose to extend mercy to us but he will not reward disobedience with blessings. He is not mocked. When we disobey God, we are rebelling against HIS divine authority and we have read how God feels about rebellion in point 4 above.
If we want him to take us forward in life, we must submit and obey HIS manual for living in life, not our own.
As Christians, we all need to continuously guard against these negative mindsets that can destroy us if we are not careful. No matter what has been done to us or what we are going through, none of them are acceptable or ever justifiable.
If we ask the Lord for help in any of the areas where we recognize that sin has a stronghold, he will help us to overcome. If we give in to it though, it will gladly take over, consume us and keep us stuck in the land of stagnancy and sterility.
If you want to move on in life, leave ALL of these unnecessary burdens and baggage behind. They can’t come with you into whatever land God may want to take you into because they are too heavy and will weigh you down.
In effect therefore, you are choosing everyday, whether you will stay with these weighty and unproductive mindsets or whether you will let go of them, allow the Lord to really renew your mind to think like Christ and move on with your life.
In putting off these worldly mindsets, Romans 12:2 instructs us: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Hebrews 12:1 also states “…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…”
The negative mindsets I have mentioned above, which often try to trip us and keep us stuck are so closely related, that chances are, if you hold on to one, you will find that you are also holding on to others. For example, non-forgiveness and bitterness against someone is what usually leads to us gossiping about them, being malicious in our words and badmouthing them to others. Low self-esteem which breeds jealousy, competition and envy, also leads to malicious gossip and badmouthing and low self-esteem results in us seeing only the negative out of life, causing us to adopt a spirit of complaint and a victim mentality.
As we seek to let go of these negative and self-destructive mindsets in pursuit of a better future IN CHRIST, let us keep at the forefront of our minds and doorposts (if we need to): Colossians 3:12-15 and 17 which state:
- “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which ye are called in one body; and be thankful...And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
Finally, if we have been honest with ourselves and with God and we have been cleansed of these filthy mindsets but are still going through storms in life and feeling stuck in a sterile land, then we need to trust God. He has a plan for our lives and suffering may be a part of it, so that his name will be glorified.
Isaiah 50:10 states: “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and STAY upon his God.”
Continue doing the right thing and pleasing God with your life. He has a perfect timing for every change in season he may wish to bring about in the lives of his Christian children. In Galatians 6:9 it states, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
Always be careful though, to ask God humbly, to reveal any sin or sinful practice that you may have missed in your life. At times, the devil can place blinders over our eyes, making us think that we are pleasing God and that everything is alright with us, when in fact it is not.
(Written on 06th June, 2018 but expanded on 01st November, 2018)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article beneficial, informative, edifying or interesting, you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 38 – ‘Praying: How To Get A ‘Yes’ From God’
- Note 43 – ‘Claiming The Promises Of God (Part 1)’
- Note 44 – ‘Claiming The Promises of God (Part 2)’
- Note 45 – ‘I Know The Plans I Have For You’
- Note 46 – ‘The Sins Of The Tongue (External Author 1)’
- Note 47 – ‘The Sins Of The Tongue Reloaded (External Author 2)’
- Note 48 – ‘Taming the Tongue – What The Bible Says About Gossip’
- Note 49 – ‘Self-Inflicted Wounds’
- Note 139 -‘Have You Really Forgiven? Really?’
- Note 160 – ‘When Serving God Doesn’t Seem To Make Sense’
- Note 218 – ‘Just One Thing May Be Holding You Back’
- Note 221 – ‘What Is God Calling You To Cast Out Of Your Life?’
- Note 222 – ‘Suffering? Bad Attitudes That Will Only Make It Worse’