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Living a Good Life: What Informs My Attitudes, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
March 4, 2024 10:00 am

Living a Good Life: What Informs My Attitudes, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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March 4, 2024 10:00 am

An attitude is a habit of thought nurtured by our 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.

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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. This is part two of a message titled Reality Check for Our Attitudes. It was first preached on May 20, 2018 at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem, as part of a series on Ecclesiastes.

To hear more, visit www.delightingrace.org. I am not the point to my existence. You have to come to grips with that truth.

That's what he says. Verse 19, the one who fears God shall come out from both of them. It's not about me. Verse 19, he talks about wisdom from God. Wisdom comes from God and wisdom is the ability to do life well. The ability to do life well. So the reality truth that rescues us from the lies, the reality truth is it's not about me.

Let's go on. Verse 20, surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. Do not take to heart the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you.

Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others. Let's talk about your self-talk on the opinions of others. Here's a lie that you and I tend to believe, that we tend to repeat. I must have everyone's approval.

You want other people's approval, don't you? And a lie that you might tend to repeat is that you must have everyone's approval and you don't know how to handle critical gossip. Yet we need to understand that critical gossip is formed by limited information and emotion. Critical gossip is formed by limited information and emotion, whether it's somebody else doing it or whether I'm doing it.

Because as he points out very clearly, you and I are also guilty of critical gossip, aren't we? If you're honest, you have to admit that. The reality truth, the lie is I must have everyone's approval. The reality truth is this, everyone messes up. Verse 20, everyone messes up, even you. Even you.

No exceptions. So you take that out to its logical conclusion, everyone needs forgiveness, even you. So where does critical gossip fit in there?

It doesn't fit, does it? So let's be very careful about that, about the lie that you tend to repeat to yourself, that I must have everyone's approval. Because you know what? That's an impossibility to attain. So don't even try. Let's talk about your self-talk on intelligence. My self-talk on my intelligence. Verse 23, all this I have tested by wisdom. I said, I will be wise, but it was far from me. That which has been is far off and deep, very deep.

Who can find it out? You say, I got you, Solomon. I'm all about that. I know what you're talking about there. What are you talking about?

Right? My intelligence. Here's a lie that I tend to repeat. We've kind of said this a little bit before, but a lie I tend to repeat is I have to know.

I have to know. It's a form of control. Solomon says, I will be wise. Because the follow-up lie to that is if I don't understand, then it must not be true.

Now there's a lot of people in that boat today, isn't there? If I don't understand it, then it must not be true. That is a lie that we tend to repeat. And here the reality truth in this is that my understanding is limited and tainted. Solomon confesses that here. It's very deep.

It's far off. I can't attain it. My understanding is two things. Number one, limited. Number two, it is tainted. There is a level of corruption to my understanding. I have to confess that. It is limited and it is tainted.

And we do well to humbly admit that. So the reality truth, first of all, my understanding is limited and tainted. Secondly, humility and trust are required of me. Humility and trust are required of me.

Here's the point. What is the object of your trust? What is the object of your trust? There are many people who experience disappointment with God. There's a book written by that title, Disappointment with God. I'm going to say something very strong and striking and it may create a lot of conversation.

And if you have questions about it, you feel free to invite me to lunch. Why would one be disappointed with God? One of two reasons and it might be a combination of both. Consider who God is. God in his perfection. If you, a finite, corrupt being are disappointed with an infinite perfect being, think about that.

It comes for one of two reasons. Number one, you have an inaccurate knowledge of God. Or number two, your self preeminence is showing itself if you're disappointed with God.

And it's probably a combination of both of those. How many people grow up in systems where they think God is just simply a judge of them, where if they're misbehaving, God's going to put you under their thumb, under his thumb? Many of you grew up in that kind of a system. That's an inaccurate understanding of God. There are other people who go off into a very emotionalistic type of theology where they make demands of God and they end up crediting to God promises that he never made. And so they make these demands of God and when God doesn't come through, they're disappointed with God. That's an inaccurate understanding of God. But it all comes down to also my self preeminence where I consider, you know, it's as if I believe God is there for me. That's an inaccurate understanding of God.

We need to understand that all things were created by him and what? For him. Do you understand what that means? That means unless you are in pursuit of him, you will not experience the satisfaction you're looking for.

Can't happen. Verses 26 to 28. Some of you might be scratching your heads at this.

I find something more bitter than death. A woman whose heart is snares and nets and whose hands are fetters and he who pleases God escapes her, but the sinner is taken by her. And Solomon knows a lot about this topic, right?

He has quite a bit of knowledge about this. Here's the lie that I tend to repeat. You ready for this? He or she makes me happy. He or she makes me happy.

Makes me happy. It is a lie. If you're looking to another person, human being, to make you happy, you are setting yourself up for disappointment because it will happen.

Remember verse 20? Everyone messes up. Everyone messes up. And then if you're counting on him or her to make you happy, then when unhappiness comes, the second lie is this. It's their fault.

Do you know that's why marital counseling is, there's so much of it today? It's their fault. It's his fault. It's her fault that I'm not happy. Because as Solomon knows, he was using people, particularly women, but even men as well, in different ways, but he was using people for his own pleasure or placement.

You and I tend to do the very same thing. And listen to me. When you use another person for your pleasure or placement, it is abuse. It is abuse. And you will be unhappy.

You'll become disappointed and bitter. What is the reality truth? See, in this paragraph right here, Solomon confesses that he is missing genuine relationship.

Genuine relationship. He confesses that in here. He is honest about his appetites and his self-talk. He has used people. If one in a thousand men has not found a single woman, what does he mean by that? He has been using people for his pleasure. And he has not found a satisfying relationship. Maybe one in a thousand men, but not a single woman. How can he say that? He had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Well, that kind of explains it, doesn't it?

He's using them. We do the same thing. Let's be very careful. If we're honest, we have to admit that.

The reality truth is this. Loving God leads to loving my neighbor. Therein, you will find meaningful relationship.

Your neighbor can be anyone from your wife, your child, to your actual physical neighbor, to somebody in church, to somebody you work with, to somebody on the street. Loving God leads to loving my neighbor and therein you will find meaningful relationships. Verse 26 makes it very clear. He who pleases God, he who pleases God, makes it very clear. He who pleases God escapes her, but the sinner is taken by her. You see, the sinner only uses people for his own pleasure and placement. All this is put in a nutshell in verse 29. This is one of my favorite verses in Scripture. See, this alone I found that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes. There's a lot of theology in this that I think is very true.

Schemes is a word that he's used three times in this and here's the truth. I tend toward lies. As a fallen created being, I tend toward lies.

You need to admit that truth to yourself. I tend toward lies. The schemes, the devices, the calculations, the inventions. This word schemes means the employment of the mind in thinking activity.

It's the idea of planning. In my self talk, I tend toward two things. Self-preoccupation, and when I tend toward self-preoccupation, then I get to the point where I tend toward telling myself that God is not enough.

There is something better, and that's exactly what happened in the Garden of Eden, and the tactic has remained the same all through history. What are the truths I must believe? Well, he says right here at the beginning of verse 29, see this alone I have found that God made man upright. 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 / 2024-03-04 12:30:22 / 2024-03-04 12:35:02 / 5

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