There are people who seek good advice. But then there are people who instead use bad counsel. One must totally avoid all usage of bad counsel because its evil.
What is bad counsel?
Bad counsel includes all the things, all the thoughts and all the philosophies that are based on falsehood, greed, immorality, hate and deception. There are the very things that go against the counsel of the Holy Spirit of God.
For example; listening to thieves and then stealing from others is following bad counsel. Reading books that teach you to use deceptive methods to get money illegally is acting on bad counsel.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, indeed it cannot; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8)
What makes bad counsel so evil?
Bad counsel is against the will of God
Following the counsel which involves sin and darkness, is completely against the will of God. Do note that the Lord God won’t bless anyone who walks in the counsel of the wicked.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers (Psalm 1:1)
Bad counsel leads to eternal damnation
There are some who follow bad counsel who speak about the short team benefits they get, such as cheap fame and quick money. However what they totally miss out is that the counsel of the wicked leads to eternal damnation.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17)
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death (Revelation 21:8)
Bad counsel may even lead to punishment on earth
Some people think they can wait until the end of their lives, and then face the consequences. The truth is, following bad counsel may even lead to punishment when one is still alive. And this punishment can be painful too.
For example; If caught stealing from a house, many a times the people of the household and the neighbors are known to beat up the thief mercilessly. And if the police arrive, then won’t charge those people with anything but instead arrest the thief.
People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry, but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold; he will give all the goods of his house. (Proverbs 6:30-31)
If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him (Exodus 22:1-2)
Follow only good counsel because that is will of God for you. That way you won’t be liable for eternal damnation nor fear any punishment on earth for your bad actions.
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. (James 3:17)
Every Christian should consider the Biblical call to avoid laziness and overcome it. Now laziness is not the same thing as resting after a hard days work. Laziness is rather idleness and the quality of being unwilling to work or use effort and energy. For some unwitting people a holiday means a time to be lazy and avoid all work including house work, while others just carry their work (via a laptop or smartphone) together with them. Now this doesn’t mean each Christian ought to avoid holidays or be a workaholic who works until he or she is completely drained out. That would be too extreme, isn’t it?
The key to a balanced Christian life would be to live a life consistent with the principles of the Bible. Now there are four areas of life where a Christian can and must avoid laziness, which are as follows:
1. The Spiritual life.
2. The Emotional life.
3. The Physical life.
4. The Financial life.
I’ll explain what each of them mean and what can be done to avoid laziness in them but first let’s get to know a few Bible verses about laziness. Here’s the first one:
How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:9-11)
Plus here are a few more Bible verses about laziness to consider:
* A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. (Proverbs 10:4)
* Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger. (Proverbs 19:15)
* The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing. (Proverbs 20:4)
From the above verses you’d notice that laziness can bring in eventual poverty, hunger and lack. At the same time diligence can make you rich. What would you prefer? For those who want to not be in poverty, hunger and lack which come due to lack of action in the right direction, there’s where the teachings of the Bible come to use. I’ll now explain the four key areas in detail:-
1. The Spiritual life
This is the most important area of life a man, woman or child could ever have. Whatever you do in your present spiritual life can have dramatic consequences in the after life. The problem is that some people are very busy in all areas of their life except that of the spirit. They neglect their prayers unto God, forget to give thanks to the Lord, and even avoid doing good works. The usual excuse is that they are too busy or don’t have time. But whatever be the reason, if you be lazy in your spiritual life then do not expect a good commendation from the Lord God. A few verses to reflect and act upon:
1. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:16)
2. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)
3. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. (Romans 12:11)
4. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17
2. The Emotional life
Your emotional life is the next most important area. Many people make life changing decisions based on their impulses instead of wisdom. This causes them a lot of hardship later on while it may be possible they might enjoy themselves temporarily. Because people are too lazy to cultivate and safeguard their emotions they easily break in the face of adversity. The people of God are called to be vigilant and wise instead. It’s wise to know your current emotional state towards yourself and the Lord God and even your fellow human beings and animals and so on. This can give you the opportunity to either groom or correct your emotions. A few verses to ponder and work upon:
1. So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
2. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
3. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and the evil out of the evil brings forth that which is evil. For out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)
4. But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8)
3. The Physical life
There are people who are very good in their spiritual and emotional life but are lacking in their physical life. Then you hear that such people are finding difficulty in walking or running or climbing and so on. I wish they work on their physical frame as well. So what is the physical life I speak of? It’s basically the physical well-being of the body in terms of nutrition and exercise. While I do agree that it’s given to man to die once and then comes the resurrection of the just (and the unjust for those who die in their sin) it does not mean we neglect our physical bodies in the mean time. The Bible never tells us to neglect our body once we get saved, in fact we are told that we who believe in Christ Jesus are nothing less than the temple of the Holy Spirit. Read the following Bible verses and use them to your benefit:
1. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own (1 Corinthians 6:19)
2. For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:8)
3. A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might (Proverbs 24:5)
4. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong (Proverbs 31:17)
4. The Financial life
The area of finance is something that people give way too much importance to. However the areas of spirit, emotions and physical life should not be neglected while working on the area of finance. Some get into debt because they sleep or laze around instead of working when it’s the time to work. There are others who awake enough to earn their living but asleep enough to not check their overspending or even getting into debts that they can easily avoid. As a result there is a lot of strain in terms of money in their life which affects their families too. So don’t love money at all but instead be diligent in earning it and saving it and only spend it wisely. A few verses in this area that you can act upon:
1. He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame. (Proverbs 10:5)
2. In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty. (Proverbs 14:23)
3. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12)
4. But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 25:26-30)
Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:24-29)
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:20)
The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.. (Hebrews 7:23-25)
When I saw him (Jesus), I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. (Revelation 1:17-18)
Someone reading this might be having an issue with habitual sin. I mean, one knows that a particular sin is bad for him and so he’s on guard against it but in a few days he again commits that sin. Now such a person wants to get out of this sin habit but keeps going back to it. I do not come to judge any habitual sinner but rather to encourage him or her to do what is right for his or her soul.
To any such person I’d say, ” Don’t lose hope if you’re a habitual sinner but keep trying to live up for the Lord”. I have a few principles from the Bible which you can use with enough faith and perseverance you could no longer be slaves to bad desires.
Be willing to leave your sins
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)
Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)
Acknowledge and confess your sins to the Lord
I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah (Psalm 32:5)
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10)
Exercise your choice to choose life and blessings
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live (Deuteronomy 30:19)
In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death. (Proverbs 12:28)
Be sad for your sins that you repent well
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)
You need to believe in Christ for your justification
For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” (Romans 10:10-11)
Open your heart to Jesus once again
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)
Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23)
Love God more that you follow him better
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5: 1-5)
Desire to be a slave no more as Christ wants you to be free
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)
Even if it’s the Nth time you sinned you still crucify the flesh
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:22-24)
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
All praise and adoration unto the Lord God and to Christ Jesus his only begotten Son. Keep us O Lord from all wrong thoughts and intentions in everything that we do. Lead by the Holy Spirit into all truth. Amen.
12 Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults.13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight,O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:12-13)
One must take care that one’s motivations are always pure before the Lord. All vanity and pride must cast away from your way of thinking. Be pure in thought, words and deeds always.
Wrongful thoughts of the heart lead to wrongful actions.
14 And Jesus called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy,slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:14-23)
Good works must be accompanied by good intentions.
It could be that you and another person are doing the same thing and yet only one stands justified before God. You see a blind child trying to cross the road and you help him out of pity. Then, we have the other person, who too sees a blind child also trying to cross the road but helps him only to gain the admiration of fellow street walkers. The average person on the street would like that you both help the blind kids out there. However, the Lord God knows the human heart and its secret intentions. The person who had no pity but only wanted fame out of this good act had done in essence what’s called as dead work, spiritual dead work in the eyes of God.
You’d be rewarded for your act of kindnesses towards the blind kid but the person who desired selfish fame won’t be rewarded by God. As to when you’ll receive your reward, it could be any time as per God’s will. Even if you might remember a past good deed that you did with good intentions which is not yet rewarded, do not feel low as God will surely reward you for that on the Day of Judgement.
8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:8-15)
I heard of a great Christian convention center where lots of miracles happen, even to this day. They were not teaching any new doctrine. All they did was to reemphasize all the teachings of the Bible systematically. People would receive the truth and be set free from their sins and sickness.
Since they taught very basic stuff I wondered that how come so many adults who over there for miracles (I was a kid at that time) behaved as if they’re hearing such teachings for the first time. Surely repentance, salvation, prayer and the love of God through Jesus Christ are things are taught at elementary levels. Why did they find it so difficult to grasp?
Then I realized that such people won’t attempt to learn anything from the Bible unless they’re spoon fed. If you ask them let’s pray for so and so person’s health they will demand to know everything about one. Yet after telling in detail they won’t commit themselves to praying for that person unless you prompt them again and again. If you point out the need to stop worshipping false idols they will stare at you in amazement until you read out to them the Ten Commandments and verses against idolatry.
As I’ve walked with the Lord God and have been ministering to people I couldn’t help but notice that the teachability factor for some is very low. They won’t do their research. They will avoid reading the Bible. All they want is someone to preach only on the topic they want to hear about. As usual they get offended if they don’t get to hear what they want, it’s if they know the teaching but only want you to parrot it for them. This provides an open door to deception and legalism. Deception because the Devil tricks both the preacher and the congregation into choosing to condone a sinful existence while only promoting blessings instead of repentance. Legalism because the people will accept only those things the pastor speaks about even if it’s already written in the Bible unless they personally hear it from their pastor.
About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:11-14)
I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready (1 Corinthians 3:2)
Now if you are in position where you are dealing with people who prefer to be spoon fed the doctrines of Christ what are you to do? Firstly, be patient and don’t lose your peace. Secondly, try to positively and politely encourage such people to have constant reading and discernment of every section of the Bible. And finally, learn to draw the line and say no to people who do not improve despite your warnings. The final tip may seem odd but you need to make them understand that being forever on ‘milk and baby’ mode won’t help them grow in the Lord Jesus. This doesn’t mean that you stop helping them if they will fall in trouble due to their ignorance. Rather it’s that you affirm and show that you value your time and efforts that you have applied to help them.