On Sunday night, December 30, 2012, I preached the final sermon of the year at Riverside Baptist Church. It was an honor to stand before the congregation and deliver a word from the Lord. So, what was the message I chose to encourage and motivate us all as we faced the new year?
Forgetting the past and reaching toward the things before has been preached countless times. Beginning again has been covered, as well as how to have a prosperous new year. Therefore, this year I decided to do something a little different. Instead of talking about resolutions or remembering, I simply listed 13 things I do not want to do in 2013.
I Don’t Want to…
1. Believe another politician. Why did I ever? I won’t do it this year, that’s for sure. Even if he/she is telling the truth, how would I know? Let God be true, and every man a liar, especially those running for office (Romans 3:4).
2. Eat more in one sitting than the average family in Africa eats in a week. (Prov. 23:21; 21:17)
3. Lie, cheat, or steal, even when it’s socially acceptable. This is especially important during tax season, but there are many times we lie to each other, deprive each other, and take what isn’t ours. Have you ever told someone you were “fine” when you actually weren’t? You lied. Used two coupons instead of one, just because the cashier didn’t notice? You stole.
4. Be angry. Anger rarely solves anything. Angry people are miserable and always finding fault. Angry people turn a leisurely drive into a demolition derby. “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:9).
5. Whine or complain. What do I have to complain about? Really?
6. Tell people how stupid they are. I don’t understand why some people act the way they do, but I need to be a little more understanding of idiots, morons, ignoramuses, and bone-headed nincompoops. They must answer to God, not me, for their actions (Rom 14).
7. Add another x to my large. I can’t afford any more clothing. Even now I must wear Hawaiian shirts year-round because nothing will stay tucked in. I mean, seriously! The last thing I need is to expand the “temple.” (1 Corinthians 6:19)
8. Lose another favorite sock. I can’t figure out how it happens, but something has to be done.
9. Waste time. Today I listened to my two girls play with a new ukulele. They laughed and sang. Soon they will be grown, and there will be no more music, games, or bedtime stories. “Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away” (Psalm 144:4).
10. Get a divorce. Many do it because the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence. They don’t realize the unnatural stuff has a nasty aftertaste. I want to stay with the woman God gave me. Who could be better than a gift from God? “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth” (Proverbs 5:18).
11. Give one more dollar to a guy on the street….without offering the gospel as a condition. If he wants a dollar, then fine. I’ll give him $5 if he lets me tell him about Jesus.
12. Be on a reality TV show. So many people say, “Anthony, your family would make a great reality show.” I say, “Yes, I know.” However, it ain’t gonna happen. The world isn’t ready for it.
13. Forget to pray. I don’t pray enough. More is better. What I need is to follow David’s example and pray morning, noon, and evening (Psalm 55:17). I shudder to think how much I’ve given up by forgetting to spend time with God.
James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”