1. Apathy. There was a survey done of pastors of growing churches recently that showed the one thing they had in common wasn’t their theology, doctrine, mannerisms in the pulpit – but that they worked hard. They knew how to rest and enjoy the rest patterns of life, but they worked hard. They were continually learning how to engage with people better, how to become better leaders, how to influence and help people more. Apathy never lets anything grow. Gardens become wastelands when we do not tend to them. Are there things you know need doing? Make a list, and start working through them one after the other. Stop watching nonsense on the TV, and vegging out all the time. You are creating a vicious cycle that is not helping anyone. Set the alarm for 5 one day before the family get up and spend 2 hours working through the to-do list. Take a few days of Facebook – no one will actually miss you and your church or business won’t implode because of it. Apathy is a killer, the Bible says clearly that laziness arms poverty in your life. Not just poverty of finances but of thinking, of dreaming, of relationships. Get up and put some effort into what you want to grow in 2013.
2. Stubbornness. The death cry of the church or ministry or the business or the relationship is “we’ve never done it like that before…” If you want different results that what you have always had, you will have to do something you have never done. If you want success that you have never had, you are going to have become more flexible, more adaptable. Stubbornness is a virtue only if you are right – if not, it is a vice. Find out how people who have achieved more than you have achieved it, and make some changes. Change is your friend, not your enemy.
3. Noseyness. You have the exact amount of time in 2013 to do everything God has called you to do. He is a master planner like that, but He has allocated zero time for you to poke your nose in other people’s business. Every time you are interfering with someone else’s destiny you are absolutely failing to be working out your OWN salvations. The fruit of the Spirit is self-control, not other-control. Live and let live.
4. Stinginess. He who scatters sparingly shall reap sparingly. Unless you learn true heart generosity, you will never receive the increase you deserve this year. Become a great giver and you will become a great receiver.
5. Envy. Stop looking at what other people and what they are doing in terms that you want them to fail so you look better. Blowing out all the other candles in the room doesn’t mean yours will burn any brighter! When Peter was told he would die for Jesus, his immediate response was “what about John?” Jesus told him that John’s ministry was none of his business! It’s true – the pastors envy the evangelists, the evangelists envy the pastors; the ushers envy the Sunday School workers, the Sunday School workers envy everyone who is not in the Sunday School… it’s hard to keep focused sometimes. Spend time thanking God for what you DO have, and it is a lot easier not to get frustrated about what you don’t have.