Share This Episode
Delight in Grace Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell Logo

Living a Good Life: What Informs My Attitudes, Part 1

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
March 1, 2024 10:00 am

Living a Good Life: What Informs My Attitudes, Part 1

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 413 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.


March 1, 2024 10:00 am

An attitude is a habit of thought nurtured by our self-talk.  So what message are we preaching to ourselves?

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Moody Church Hour
Pastor Phillip Miller
A Call to the Nation
Carter Conlon

Welcome to Delight in Grace.

The teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. An attitude is a habit of thought nurtured by our own self-talk. So what message are we preaching to ourselves?

What is informing my attitude? In this message, Pastor Rich walks us through a reality check on our attitudes from Ecclesiastes 7, 14-29. What an opportunity today to examine our heart view on God, others, and ourselves.

Let's listen in. Ecclesiastes, Solomon is trying to make sense of the journey. And after reading today's scripture, you might think, okay, he's a little confused. Chapter 7, verses 14 to 29 is focusing on a reality check for our attitudes. It's a reality check for our attitudes because this is flowing out of the first part of the chapter. Or last time we were talking about making sense of the voices, there are so many voices that are speaking into our lives. And the voices informing my belief about how life should be develops my attitudes about life. And my attitudes need a reality check.

What is an attitude? An attitude is a habit of thought, and that habit of thought is nurtured by my self-talk. You talk to yourself, you know that, right?

You do. You are self-aware because you are created in God's image. That means that you can think about what you're thinking, and that also means that you can select your thoughts. So these voices that are informing your belief about how life should be, those voices are informing your attitudes.

Your attitudes now need a reality check because not all of those voices are telling you the truth. We need to compare the lies that we might tend towards repeating and measure them up to the truths of reality that God has revealed to us in His Word. Look, for example, in verse 14, in the day of prosperity, be joyful.

That's not hard, is it? That's easy for us. We do that. In the day of prosperity, be joyful.

No problem there. But then what comes next? In the day of adversity, what do we do? You see, an attitude is a habit of thought nurtured by my self-talk. So let's talk today about our self-talk. First of all, my self-talk on hard times. When times are hard, when difficult things happen, what is my self-talk? Because it says on the day of adversity, and some of us might be thinking, Rich, it's not a day, it's been years, right? On the day of adversity, consider.

Well, consider what? We talk, first of all, about the lies that I tend to repeat. First lie that I tend to repeat is my faith should protect me from adversity. My faith should protect me from adversity. It is a lie. To what degree do you believe that lie?

I challenge you to ask yourself that question. And the second one that flows out of that is that God doesn't care. Implication, God isn't good. We have such a tendency to judge the goodness of God by our circumstances. And when people come to me and say, God has been good to me, my first question is, was there ever a time that he was not?

God is good by definition. The third lie that I tend to believe is that I need to know why. When adversity comes, I need to know why. In other words, I need to make sense of this.

There has to be something that makes sense of this thing that I'm going through, because really, truthfully, I don't deserve this. See, those are lies that we tend to tell ourselves in times of adversity. What is the reality truth here? The reality truth? Look what he says in verse 14, God has made the one as well as the other. The day of prosperity and the day of adversity, God has made one as well as the other so that man may not find out anything that will be after him. In my vain life, I've seen everything. There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life and his evil doing.

Here's the truth of the matter. Creation was subjected to futility. Know that, Christians, creation was subjected to futility, futility, vanity, corruption. Question, who subjected creation to futility? God did because of our sin. Creation was subjected to futility.

God made the one as well as the other. But it says it was subjected to futility in hope. That is, we have the hope of redemption, not just ourselves, but all of creation will be redeemed. So that brings us to the second reality truth, and that is that I am not in control. I am not, I cannot be in control. Therefore, you do not need to know why. You do not need to.

Don't repeat that lie to yourself. You do not need to know why because you're not the one that is in control. You have an insufficient perspective and you have insufficient understanding. Now, there's a lot more that could be said, but we're going to get to some key points on this as we come to the end of the sermon today. But this is written by Cherry Register in her writing, Living with Chronic Illness. She said, lived fully, the experience of illness can free you from the curse of perfectionism that makes happiness conditional on having everything just right. Happiness conditional on having everything just right. My self talk, first of all, on hard times, secondly, on my behavior.

Look at with me at verse 16. Be not overly righteous and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself? Be not overly righteous.

That's an interesting statement, isn't it? Here are some of the lies that we tend to repeat to ourselves. First one is, I must be perfect. I must be perfect. There are some of you who struggle with perfectionism, aren't there? Say, mm hmm.

And I know who you are and you do too, right? Do not be overly righteous. Now, this is in a spiritual context. This can refer to legalism. Perfectionism isn't necessarily legalism, but sometimes they are very much related. But it can lead to self-righteousness. It can lead to what Paul says in Colossians, self-imposed religion. And that perfectionism tends to puff up. And when it moves into theology, we can become theological eggheads where we're so much about having the exact truth that we're divisive with everybody. And we forget about the practical theology. I've seen people who are so exact in their theology, but don't trust God.

They get all worked up when adversity comes. He says, don't be too righteous. Don't be overly righteous because it becomes about what I believe and it becomes about how I behave. And he says in verse 16, do not destroy yourself.

Why should you destroy yourself? And that word is just very interesting. It means to be desolate. It means to be isolated. In other words, if you are overly righteous in the sense of whether it's legalism or self-righteousness or self-imposed religion or a theological egghead, you get to the point where you are ineffective because you are a do-nothing.

Because there's all this list of stuff that you can't do. That's what it means to be overly righteous. In practice to perfection, any virtue can become a vice. Prudence creates miserliness, honesty can create cruelty, self-respect can create vainglory, knowledge can create condescension, justice, heartlessness. In fact, there is no virtue that is not potentially an idol. Do not be overly righteous.

It's a very interesting thought, isn't it? Look what he says in the next verse now. Verse 17, do not be overly wicked, neither be a fool. Now, it kind of sounds like he's saying it's okay to be a little bit wicked, but don't be overly wicked.

Is that what you think he's saying? Look at verse 20. Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. Do you realize that you are a sinner? There is wickedness in your life. But he says, do not be overly wicked. So this is the second lie that some of us may tend to believe.

And it looks like this. I must be happy. I must be happy. In other words, I must be free to do as I please. That's being overly wicked. This is a libertine.

Instead of legalism, it's libertinism. What I want, I get, what I want to do, I will do, period. I can have it all.

I can do whatever I want to do. And that is what he says in verse 17, don't be a fool. What is a fool? A fool is a person who acts without thought of consequence or impact, thoughtless behavior. It's simply bent on immediate gratification. That's foolishness. It is also behavior that is self-destructive. And you and I, if we are honest and admit it, we all tend towards that immediate gratification.

We want that, don't we? That's why he says, don't be overly wicked. Because there is wickedness in every one of us. And so we need to make sure that we understand this lie that is a propensity within us. What is the reality truth here?

Very, very simple. Look at verse 18 with me. It is good that you should take hold of this from that. Withhold not your hand for the one who fears God shall come out from both of them. That's being overly righteous or overly wicked. Perfectionism to licentiousness.

Where are you on that spectrum? It's not a matter of balance. OK, this is not a matter of balance. You have a little bit of wickedness and a little bit of righteousness. It's not balance.

Godliness is not about balance. Be careful how you say that. Now, I understand there's some people that talk like it and we need to understand what that means. But what he's saying is the reality truth is this.

You ready? It's not about me. It's not about me. Thanks for joining us here at Delight in Grace. You've been listening to Rich Powell, the lead pastor at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. The Delight in Grace mission is to help you know that God designed you to realize your highest good and your deepest satisfaction in Him, the one who is infinitely good. We hope you'll join us again on weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-01 10:16:40 / 2024-03-01 10:21:26 / 5

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime