The Sin of Self-Indulgence

In Proverbs 23, Solomon doesn’t hold back when it comes to the topic of self-indulgence. We don’t see this term in the chapter, but we do see the principle throughout the entire chapter.

Solomon covers a few different topics of self-indulgence in this chapter.

He opens up the chapter with the self-indulgence of food. Vs. 1-3

He then mentions the self-indulgence of riches. Vs. 4-5

Next he talks about the self-indulgence of knowledge. Vs. 12, 23

He mentions the self-indulgence of sexual gratification. Vs. 27-28

Then he finishes the chapter with the self-indulgence of alcohol. Vs. 29-35

Self-indulgence: excessive or unrestrained gratification of one’s own appetites, desires, or whims.

When I look at the topics he covers throughout this chapter, there is only one that I believe is sin whether done in moderation or excess and that is alcohol. If you look at the other topics mentioned, they are all good if done in moderation. The exception to this would be sexual gratification, this is right if done within the confines of marriage between man and woman. Anything outside of the biblical guidelines is sin.

Food is good, but done in excess is gluttony.

Riches is good, but if that is our only concern in life then it becomes greed.

Knowledge is good, but we shouldn’t fill our minds with useless things and things contrary to Scripture.

Sexual gratification done in marriage is good, outside of that it is fornication and adultery.

Alcohol is sin. There is no good thing about it.

Anything done in excess, anything that we are unrestrained in, can be a sin if it takes the place of God or takes away from the things of God. We can make a list that goes beyond the topics covered in Proverbs 23 that can become sin if we indulge to much in them.

Self-indulgence comes from the inability to say no.

You eat too much because you can’t say no.

You are greedy because you can’t say no.

You don’t care what knowledge you gain, whether it is good or bad, because you can’t say no to what you listen to or look at.

You have sex outside of the biblical guidelines because you can’t say no.

You drink alcohol because you can’t say no.

If we are honest with ourselves, whether other people know or not, at some point we have all had a problem saying no to whatever sin we were faced with at the time.

One of the first words a child learns, at least mine did, is the word no. My one year old answers no to everything it seems like! Why is it that as we get older, we have a harder time saying no? It seems like it is easier to say yes to the wrong things and no to the right things when it really should be the other way around.

Tips on saying NO.

Don’t be afraid to say no!

Walk with God. Ask God to give you the power and strength to say no.

Avoid the things that you have a hard time saying no to.

Have someone to hold you accountable with the things you have a hard time saying no to.

Develop the right attitude towards wrong actions. When you believe wrong is wrong as much as you believe right is right, you will have an easier time saying no.

Don’t be afraid of what others may think of you for saying no. You have to give account for what you do in your life.

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Keep Cleaning The Crib

Last night at church, we had about 15 or so different men preach. Honestly, they were all great messages with great truths that we could use in our lives. One of my favorite messages of the night was preached by Andrew Grob. The messages was short and simple but packed a powerful truth about our labour for Christ. I asked him for his sermon notes so that I could share them with you.

“Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.”

Proverbs 14:4

The ox was a great possession in Bible times. It was used to plow fields and tread corn. To a farmer, an ox was a must have.

God laid out clear instructions for taking care of an ox. In Exodus God said that they also were to have a day of rest.

Along with owning an ox came the responsibility of caring for that ox. You must provide food, water, and shelter. You have to clean his crib.

Owning an ox was a luxury, but it also meant you were going to be working very hard.

As I thought about this verse I began to think about other areas in our life this applies to.

Owning a car, it’s a luxury but it means lots of money in gas, insurance, maintenance plus the purchase price of the car.

I also thought about three major areas of the church this applies to…

Sunday School                                                                                                                             Christian School                                                                                                                                 Bus Ministry

Picture a farmer in Bible times complaining to his neighbor about how much work it is to take care of his oxen and how much easier it would be if he didn’t have any to take care of. So he gives his oxen away and walks over to the stalls and cleans them one last time.

When it comes time to feed the ox he is able to go inside and take a break, kick up his feet and relax, but when it comes time to plough the field and tread out the corn, he is not able to do it. His work load is even lighter because he doesn’t have the ability to tread corn or plough the field. Is he happy? Whether he is or not I just described to you a lazy farmer about to starve to death. The neglect of husbandry isthe way to poverty.

Certainly if you are involved in Bethel Baptist School or Tri-State Baptist College, or teach a Sunday School class or help on a bus route, you know there is great labor involved in keeping up these ministries.

Keeping the buses running involves a great deal of time and money and labor and you are always running into families needing help but not willing to change. You see and deal with difficulties and troubled kids. You fall in love with the kids and then spend extra time trying to help them and their families.

Yes it would be much easier to get rid of the bus ministry and free up our time and we could work on other things, but when harvest time comes our hands would be Empty.

We as a church could be like that farmer, but we would be a starving church.

Don’t get weary in your labor for the Lord. Keep pressing on. Harvest time is coming. Continue knocking doors, continue visiting families, continue preparing those lessons, continue changing the diapers, cleaning the buildings and fixing the buses.

Don’t get tired of cleaning the crib but keep on keeping on. When Christ comes back I want to have a full harvest instead of an empty field.

I’ve never done this before but I’m going to end this message with the title,

KEEP CLEANING THE CRIB.

Let Others Praise You

“Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.”

Proverbs 27:1-2

We live in a selfish society. If you look around, everything is about what can I get or what can I do for myself or how do I look. We live in a time where everyone is pointing out their own accomplishments and bringing praise and recognition to themselves, especially through social media.

We all can think of that one person, who always has a better story or is always praising themselves. And we can all agree, that person gets on our nerves, yet we still try to be friendly. If you can’t think of someone like this, it is probably you….

The Bible, especially Proverbs, talks much about pride and the sin of pridefulness. When someone is bringing praise to themself, they are disobeying what the Word of God has to say about receiving praise.

People who are constantly bringing praise to themselves, are trying to build themselves up and look good in the eyes of their peers and really anyone who will notice. They aren’t concerned about how or what they are doing, they are more concerned whether or not people are noticing.

We, as Christians, should be more concerned about what we are doing and the effort we are putting into what we are doing, whether it is or secular job or our spiritual job for Christ. If we do what we are supposed to do, praise and recognition will come. What I have I learned in my short life is this, “Someone is always watching what you do.” That is a simple thought if you really think about it. Yes, we know, God is watching everything you do. There is no private, hiding place from God. But in this day and age, while out in public, someone is always watching what you do. With that being said, do what you are supposed to do, and put your best effort into what you do, and you will get that praise and recognition.

So the thought for the day is this, “Don’t worry about letting people know what you are doing, only focus on doing what you should be doing!”

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