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Heart Attitude-Part 2
Wrong Heart Attitudes
Genesis 6:5-8, 1Timothy 6:10
evil: morally bad or wrong;something that causes harm or distress
As much as we hate to admit it, evil does go all the way back to the garden with Adam and Eve. And, as much as the men would have Eve carry the blame for the apple-eating episode, it was Adam who dropped the ball on this one. Sorry guys. You see, it was Adam that God spoke to about not eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam was 'head of household'; he was his wife's covering. In the garden the snake knew that God had told Adam not to eat from the tree, so he went to Eve instead. Yes, Adam had passed along God's message about the tree, but the snake was so convincing. Now, here's the thing, Adam was standing right next to Eve while the snake was talking to her! He never said a word to her. There was no "God said..." or "Don't listen to him, Eve." Nothing. Nada. When Eve gave Adam the apple, she didn't have to go to the other side of the garden, she just turned and gave it to him. And he ate it! To add insult to injury, when confronted by God for their actions, did Adam man-up and take responsibility for such in-your-face disobedience? No. He blamed Eve! And that started the whole thing. We've been dealing with evil every since. You see, Eve was deceived, but Adam was rebellious and disobedient. Don't we do the same thing? We see others doing things they shouldn't but we don't open our mouths. "It's none of my business" we say.
You've heard it said that 'money is the root of all evil'. This is a misquote. The Bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil. Money is a necessity; you can't do much in this world without it. But where is your heart attitude with regard to money? Do you horde it? Do you crave it? Do you never have enough? Are you stingy with it? Greed leads to all kinds of evil. Just look around you. We live in a society that operates on excess. Not only is 'more' better, it is essential. We have to reach a place where we are content with what we have, and not be jealous of what others have. That is why we are admonished not to covet-wrongly desire-something that belongs to someone else. It creates an evil heart attitude in us and we are overcome by 'stinkin' thinkin'.
Paul give us some tips on how to avoid the love of money:
- Realize that one day riches will all be gone
- Be content with what you have
- Monitor what you are willing to do to get more money
- Love people more than money
- Love God's work more than money
- Freely share what you have with others
Look at the story of Korah (Numbers 16:8-10). Some of the Levites wanted the power of the priesthood, but Moses saw their true motivation. Like Korah, we often desire, or covet, the special qualities God has given others. Korah had significant, worthwhile abilities and responsibilities of his own. In the end, his ambition for more caused him to lose everything. Inappropriate ambition is greed in disguise. Korah's story gives us some warnings:
- Don't try to raise your self-esteem by attacking someone else's.
- Don't use part of God's Word to support what you want, rather than allowing its entirety to shape your wants.
- Don't expect to find satisfaction in power and position. God may want to work through you in the position you are already in.
We live in a world full of evil. Not Hollywood's definition but the one given. Morally bad or wrong; something that causes harm or distress. Be watchful and observant. Guard you heart. Ask yourself..."Am I influencing others...or am I being influenced by them?"
hard: cruel or harsh;difficult or tough;to make permanent or firm
I believe that this is one of the most deadly of wrong heart attitudes because of the final outcome if not caught. To have a hard heart means that we have stubbornly set ourselves against God. A hard heart does not happen all at once. It is the result of a series of choices we make to disregard God's will. We are no longer able to turn to him for forgiveness. A hard heart causes rebellion. When our heart is hard, we find it hard to show mercy or compassion. We become very legalistic and demanding. A hardened heart is as useless as a hardened lump of clay or loaf of bread. Nothing can restore it or make it useful again. Look at Pharaoh. His heart was hardened to the extent of being permanent. The unyielding hardness of his heart destroyed everything he had and, ultimately, took his life. The Children of Israel would periodically lose faith in God and their hearts would harden. They would become stubborn and set in their ways, and couldn't turn to God.
Today, one of the quickest ways to a hard heart is through offenses. Someone offends us and Whammm!...we turn to stone. The hardening process has started. We can't wait to text our BFF, put the culprit on blast on facebook, and let everyone know what creeps they are. Revenge. But hey, wait. Isn't revenge returning evil for evil? If you follow through, you will not only be guilty of a hard heart attitude, but an evil heart attitude as well! See how this works? You have to constantly check the health of your spiritual blood. Make sure it's not infected. These two wrong heart attitudes together are poison. They will keep a cycle going that, if not stopped, will cause you to end up a very bitter and lonely person. We are to cover each other's faults for this very reason. Being 'right' is really not all it's cracked up to be. Being at peace, however, is.