FOUR THINGS TO GIVE UP BEFORE 2017

…with God’s empowering.

AN OFFENDABLE HEART.
It will take an excellent forgiver. The more you receive God’s free forgiveness through Christ Jesus, the more you can release it to others. Warning: harder to forgive ongoing offenses than one-time offenses. God’s forgiveness covers OUR ongoing offenses, so we can be empowered to apply it in others. You are helped by the mercy found in the cross of Jesus. Not releasing forgiveness to those you think don’t deserve it will torment you more than them (Matthew 18:35). Bad idea. Stick with option A.

HARD WORK WITHOUT FUN.
Pharisees know how to squeeze the fun out of life. Religious without being righteous. Not close to entertaining. Jesus knew how to have fun so much that they accused Him of being a drunkard. His disciples were on the sober side, so He told them to take their cue from children, not from stuffy religious people. Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:30). That is good news. Don’t make it heavier by adopting an all too serious outlook. Heaven is going to be ridiculously fun. Start preparing now!

A VICTIM MENTALITY.
We have all been victimized, but we don’t need to live like one. Jesus, victimized more than anyone, lived and died as a victor. Follow His lead and be empowered by His outlook. Victims give up their future. They live as if nothing will change. They’re right! They want you to feel sorry for them. If you don’t, they check you off their list of commiserating friends. Be a real friend; call them to their destiny in God. Don’t let them stay in their hole–and don’t join them. YOU ARE NOT A VICTIM.

INGRATITUDE.
Thankfulness releases grace. Thank the people you live with for putting up with you. Thank your teachers and mentors for believing in you. Thank those who bug you for helping you grow. Thank your kids for their obedience. Thank your parents for all they did for you and ignore what they did NOT do. This actually works. It lightens your load, makes you fun to be with, and overcomes the victim spirit. Hey, all these things you’re giving up work together. Cool!

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