Joyce Meyer - Seven Deadly Sins - Part 1
Well, thank you for joining us today on "Enjoying Everyday Life". Why do I call the program "Enjoying Everyday Life"? Well, I'm very fond of John 10:10. "The thief comes only to kill, to steal, and destroy". But Jesus said, "I came that you might have and enjoy your life, and have it in abundance (to the full, until it overflows)". That's the Amplified translation. And I think sometimes we forget that God actually wants us to enjoy our lives. You know, the first miracle he did was at a party. So, I always say, "Jesus loves a good party". Just needs to be a nice, godly party.
So, I started yesterday, talking about motives and the things that go on inside of us and the importance of being authentic and not being a hypocrite. Jesus had a lot of scathing things to say to the hypocrites. And the Bible says in 1 Peter 3:3 and 4, "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold Jewelry or fine clothes". That doesn't mean that it's wrong to wear nice clothes and Jewelry. It's amazing how people take things out of context. "Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight".
So, really, what that means is, we should care more about what goes on in us than how we look. And I think most of us, especially, if I talk to the women, if we spent the same amount of time getting spiritually ready to go out, as we do getting, I mean, just think about it. How much time do you spend picking out your clothes, putting on your makeup, fixing your hair, you know? Maybe some of you more than others, but it takes me a while to get this looking this good, you know. I don't look like this when I get out of bed, I can tell you that for sure. And I have learned, I spend my first part of my day with God, making sure I look good spiritually, but there was a lot of years in my life that I didn't do that. And that's what's more important to God than how we look on the outside.
Now, the Bible talks about... well, the Bible doesn't talk about, but Christian tradition talks about seven deadly sins. And today and tomorrow, I wanna go through those because many of them are things of the heart. Like the first one is envy. Okay, that's something that we do inside. You're not gonna go tell somebody, "I'm envious of you". You know, "I wish I had your house". "I wish I had your car," you know. It's an inside thing. And Proverbs 14:30 says, "A heart of peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones". Well, let's just get practical. One of the things that rots the bones is arthritis.
So, I'm not saying that everybody that has arthritis is envious, but I am saying these are real scriptures that are talking about real things, you know. I do know a woman who was very crippled with arthritis, and she had a real hatred for her mother-in-law and a lot of unforgiveness. And after she became a Christian and realized it was wrong, she forgave her and got completely well. And so, there are times when... Not all the time, because the devil is alive and well on planet earth and he can certainly make us sick. But there are times when we're doing something that is preventing our healing. It could be things like unconfessed sin, or especially, unforgiveness.
A couple might wonder why they never prosper. Well, if you've got a house full of strife, you're not gonna prosper. You may look like the most holy couple at church, but what's going on behind closed doors? These things have always been very important to me. It's always been very important to me that I'm the real deal, that I live out what I'm preaching. And so, James 4:2 and 3 says, "You desire but you don't have, so you kill. You covet", which is another word for envy. And you know, that is the 10th commandment: "Thou shalt not covet". So, they've always said that the other nine are things that you could do if you tried hard enough, but coveting is something that is inside of you and it's almost impossible to keep yourself from wanting what other people have if you don't have it.
The only thing I wanna say about that, we were talking about it this morning is, you know, we love stuff. I mean, just stuff. And it doesn't matter how much of it you have, you're always up for another one. And people get in debt to have stuff that they don't even know where it's at now. They're still making payments on it, and they don't even know where it's at. But keep in mind that everything that you own is something that you have to take care of. And it's amazing, the more stuff you get, the more you crab about having to take care of it. A person may have a big house and they wanted a big house, they wanted a big house, "I want a bigger house," "I want a bigger house," and then complain because they gotta clean the big house all the time.
So, then, maybe they get a housekeeper and then complain because they don't like the housekeeper 'cause she doesn't clean the house good enough. So, to be honest with you, it's pretty hard to keep a human being satisfied. Content, not to the point where you don't ever want anything, but the Amplified Bible says that "Contentment is satisfied to the point where you're not disturbed or disquieted no matter what state you're in". I love that definition. I'm gonna repeat it. Contentment doesn't mean that you never want anything. You can want nicer things. You can want better things. You can want more things. But don't want more just for the sake of more. You know, just, let's learn to really be happy and content with what we have.
So often, people have all this stuff and they're so busy trying to take care of it that they don't ever have the time to enjoy it. You know, enjoy your home. Every once in a while, I'll just walk through my house and just look at the pretty things in it and just take a little bit of time to enjoy it. You know, because you can live in a house and never really take the time to enjoy it. So, James 4:2-3: "You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you fight and you quarrel. You have not because you ask not". And I love that. So, if you want something, it's okay to ask God for it. But if he doesn't give it to you, now, or if he doesn't ever give it to you, then you need to believe that it's something that wasn't right for you to have. Instead of getting jealous of everybody else, and "Well, why didn't you give me that, Lord," and "Why this," and "Why, why, why," we have too many whys in our life. And what we need to say a lot more is, "God, I trust you". Not "Why". Or when you do ask, you don't receive because you ask with a wrong motive.
There we are, back to motive again. You ask only that you may spend it on yourself to get what pleasures you. Maybe not even something that you need, it's just, "I just want another one". Proverbs 27:4: "Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy"? So, let's make sure that we don't look at other people and be jealous of them. And I think women have to be especially careful. "I'm jealous of how you look". You know, "I wish I was the size you are". You know, like, my hair's about that long, and I gotta get it colored every two weeks, and get it cut every two weeks. And it's hard for me sometimes when I see somebody that's got, like, your hair, like that beautiful hair, long, a little bit curly. Just like, prayer, it's like, "Okay, God, I can't want that. I have to love my short, baby, fine hair," you know. You wouldn't believe the product I have to put on this just to get it to stand up this high. So, okay, now, this next sin, better hang on to your seat 'cause it's gluttony.
Now, let me have a little preemptive here, just to make it a little less painless. You can be a skinny glutton. Or you can be a little fluffy and not be a glutton. You notice I didn't say, "Fat". I said, "Fluffy". There are certain medicines that can make people gain a lot of weight. If you have problems with thyroid, it can make you gain weight. Some people have metabolism problems. Some people are insulin resistant. So, you don't wanna look at everybody that's overweight and say, "You're a glutton". Because we don't know that that's the case. However, if you are a glutton, it means that you have your mind on food all the time and you eat a lot more than what you need to eat. And the Bible teaches us, and I think this is big for Christians, because there's so many things that we can't do, I think we eat to replace 'em all.
And you know, every... so, we think that's okay, you know, to just overeat all the time. But the Bible teaches us that we need to take care our bodies because our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. It's where God lives. God lives in you. So, we need to be as healthy as we can be. And that may be getting enough sleep or drinking enough water or, you know, not living on sugar or, you know, empty carbs, whatever that means. It is important that you pay attention to that. Get a little exercise. God gave you all these joints so you can move them, you know. 1 Corinthians... Well, gluttony means overindulgence and overconsumption of food, drink, or wealth items.
So, see, you can even be a glutton with what you buy and bring in your house. If you got, I don't know, I don't know how many pair of earrings I got, so I gotta be careful here. If you have 200 pair of earrings, you might be an earring glutton, you know. I believe in pruning my possessions. And I do that on a regular basis. I keep a box, a big, plastic tub in my closet, and I call it my giveaway box. And I take time, sometimes, I'll just spend 45 minutes or an hour just going through my closet, going through my Jewelry, and just giving it away. And it doesn't matter even if it's new. How many of you have something new in your closet that's been there six months and you haven't worn it yet? Yeah, no, don't do this. I carried a purse in here today, and Pennie said, "Oh, that's new. I've never seen you wear that". I said, "I've had it eight months".
So, I'm guilty, you know. Buy things because they're pretty, but you don't really have anything to do with them. Or buy a pair of earrings because they're pretty, but you never wear 'em 'cause you don't have anything to wear them with. Well, if we're not using it, then maybe we need to lose it and let somebody else use it. So, everything you give away doesn't have to be old and worn out. Sometimes, the best thing to do, don't you just love it when God tells you to give away something that you love? Ew! It's especially fun if he tells you to give it to somebody you don't like. Have you ever had that? So much fun. 1 Corinthians 6:12, "'i have the right to do anything,' you say, but not everything is beneficial. 'I have the right to do anything...'" I love this. "But I will not be mastered by anything," Paul said.
So, you know, I'm not gonna go to hell if I eat a whole pie every night. I'm free to do that if I want to. But Paul said, "I'm not gonna let anything be my master except God". So, when people say, "If I eat one potato chip, I have to eat the whole bag". Really? You can't say "No" to a potato chip? Then how are we gonna say "No" to other really important things that we need to say "No" to? Aren't you loving this today? "If I eat one potato chip, I have to eat the whole bag". 1 Peter 5:8 says, "Be well balanced (temperate...)" which means, you know, temperance. Do things in moderation and do things that are good for you, not things that are bad for you. "(Be sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times: for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour".
Well, he can't devour just anybody. It has to be somebody that's cooperating with him. Our world is so full of deception. My gosh, the things that people believe today are just like, I mean, it's like, really, how can you be that stupid and breathe? I don't, you know. It's like, nuts, you know? It's like, I mean, how...? But it's deception. And we need to remember that "We war not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and wickedness in high places". Our war is not with people. It's not even with the government. I mean, yes, the enemy works through people. And people have a responsibility not to let him work through them, but just fighting with the people is not gonna solve the problem. We have to learn how to do spiritual warfare. And the very best way to fight the devil, I'm gonna give you the secret, is with goodness.
So, it actually makes it a lot of fun. Romans 12:21 says, "You overcome evil with good". When somebody hurts you, the best thing to do is buy 'em a gift. If you can't manage that, at least pray for 'em. But that's the very best thing to do. That's the way that you just unhinge the devil. "He roams around like a lion roaring in fierce hunger seeking whom he may devour". Well, make a decision, it's not gonna be you. And make sure that what you believe lines up with the Word of God. What is truth? It's what Jesus said. He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life".
Now, you know, we talk a lot about Sodom and Gomorrah and what their sin was, and I ran across this several years ago, and it just really kind of amazed me. "'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned: and they did not help the poor and the needy'". We always, always think that their sin was only sexual sin. But she was overfed and didn't care about the poor and the needy, arrogant, full of pride, and those are the sins that it mentions. So, those are the ones that we need to help. The most powerful thing that you can do is to help the poor. Every single Christian should be doing something toward giving to the poor. You should make sure that the churches that you go to are involved in outreach.
If everything is just about church growth and "What we can do to make our church a better place," we are not called to in-reach, we're called to outreach. Help the poor. Find out what the shelters are in your city and find out what they need and help. If everybody does what they can do, then we're not gonna have the problems that we have in the world. Adam and Eve's sin was due to a desire for food that they had been forbidden to eat. 1 Corinthians 6:19 and 20, "Do you not know that your bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit"? Everybody say, "God lives in me". It's a pretty awesome thing to really stop and think that you're the home of God. I mean, we say it, but I still don't know after all these years if it's really sunk in. "The home of God"?
And so, naturally, we should take care of the temple. Do the best we can. "You were bought with a price". And we know that that price was the blood of Jesus. "Therefore honor God with your bodies". The next of the seven deadly sins is greed. God knows that money's on our mind a lot, so much so, that Jesus spoke and taught about money more than he did any other single topic. That's pretty amazing, isn't it? You're sayin', "Are you sure"? Well, that's what they say. And you know "They" are always right. God knows that greed will destroy us, because the greedy person only has one thing to say, "More, more, more, more, and more and more and more". They are never, you know how awful it is to never be satisfied? I mean, do we really need more? Probably instead of needing more, we need to give away some of what we got. Get yourself a giving box, keep it somewhere in your house.
Now everything that goes in my giving box doesn't come out of my closet, it may be other things in the house, or maybe, sometimes, something somebody gives me that I know is a re-gifted item. You know, people love you and they give you things, but a lot of people that give you things give you what they like, they don't give you what you like. And so, you're probably like me, you get a lot of things in a year's time that just aren't you. And a lot of times, we feel obligated to keep it, at least keep it in a drawer, you know, so we can say we got it. But, you know, there's somebody who'll love it. And so, give it to them. God knows that greed will destroy us. If we become focused on accumulating more wealth, we become focused and driven by greed and we're never content.
I want you to think some, when this is over today, about contentment. Are you content? Don't ever say, "Well, I just can't be happy unless..." If you're a single woman, don't ever say, "I can't be happy unless I get married". You know, that lust is a lot more than just sexual sin. It's anything that we think we have to have to be happy besides God. "Well, I just can't be happy unless..." Yeah, you really can. Greed opens the door to other sins, and we find ourselves falling further and further away from God. Pray that God will give you what you can handle and always keep him first. That's what I pray. "God, give me what I can handle and still keep you first". "Even as far as the size of this ministry, size of my conferences, whatever, God give me, what I can handle and still keep you first in my life".
Do you know how easy it is for stuff to drag you away from God? It's one of the easiest things in the world. It's very dangerous. Sometimes, like, for a young person that's gifted and talented, maybe in singing or music, to become popular before they're spiritually mature. It's amazing how many it destroys. That's why as leaders in the church we need to be careful not to put somebody in a position of leadership just because they've got a talent. Their spiritual maturity is much more important because they'll end up bringing shame to the name of Jesus if they're not ready to handle it.
So, just wanting something is not a good thing. We need to want what God wants. "Give us your will, God, not our own". "Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven". We've gotta be careful to protect our hearts and minds against greed and to practice contentment. Well, the best way to fight greed is to be an aggressive giver. You know, think about giving. Ask God what you have that you can give away. Pray every day, "God, what can I do for somebody else today"? Make that part of your morning prayer, "God, what can I do for somebody else today"? "What do I have that I can use to be a blessing to somebody else"?
It might be something little. It might just be praying for somebody. It might be calling them and encouraging them. I mean, how many times do we send somebody an encouraging text and they text back, "You don't know how bad I needed that: you made my day". And so, just a few words can change somebody's life. Well, we're out of time for today, but thank God for tomorrow, when I can finish telling you all these wonderful things. Tomorrow, we start with lust. I'm sure you'll turn the program on early.