Summary: Our personal struggles and weaknesses have great bearing upon our relationships. We all have blights that plague us, and today we are going to look at three of them.

Blights to Be Reckoned With

(Ecclesiastes 11:4, 9:18, 9:11b)

1. UPI recently ran an article about a man and his trash: “NEW YORK, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- A man has promised to wear a clear plastic suit containing every piece of garbage he produces for 30 days.

A film crew will follow Rob Greenfield throughout New York City as he plans to create the American average of 4.5 pounds of trash per day, which will ultimately amount to 135 pounds.

….’Rob will be a walking billboard of environmental awareness to educate and inspire people to make positive changes in their life to reduce their waste," the website stated.’”

2. Rob Greenfield is trying to make us aware of the trash we generate each month; there is another sort of invisible trash we all carry. We all have blight, defects, weak-nesses, habitual sins, ungodly attitudes, bad habits, what I call personal blight.

Main Idea: Our personal struggles and weaknesses have great bearing upon our relationships. We all have blights that plague us, and today we are going to look at three of them.

I. The Blight of PROCRASTINATION (Eccl. 11:4)

Jana has decided to break off her engagement to Seth. He procrastinates, frequently cancels dates, and is always in a panic. She doesn’t want to live w/that drama.

Ted is always late with his projects at work, and it messes everyone else up; they all have to scurry and hurry because of him. They dislike working with him.

Cameron has done it again. He was nominated for the office of elder a month in advance and said he needed time to pray about it. Now, a day before elections, he has decided to turn it down. Now the nominating committee has to scramble to find another candidate who will need to decide in an hour if he wants the position. The committee is ready to strangle Cameron.

Sharon keeps getting slapped with late fees for not paying her bills on time. She has the funds, but keeps putting off paying the bills. She just hates doing paperwork.

Zeke is a pastor who finds himself throwing sermons together Saturday night.

A. The mistake of waiting for the PERFECT time. Read Eccl. 11:4 & explain

B. Fear of making the wrong DECISION (indecisiveness).

C. Making decisions is STRESSFUL, but not as stressful as the consequences.

1. Do what you don’t enjoy doing first.

2. Eat vegetables first… you will always have room for dessert.

3. Procrastination may double the stress you experience as you panic…

4. There is much less stress planning things early than at the last moment.

5. Example: last week’s service was a panic…

D. Reserve the ENERGY to make decisions by living a balanced life.

E. HOARDING or disorganization is related; the common theme is indecisiveness.

1. Don’t put it down, put it away.

2. Accept that you will throw away some things you will need.

3. Eliminate the things you will likely not need immediately

4. Group alike things together.

II. The Blight of Sin’s Lingering EFFECTS (Eccl. 9:18)

• Tornadoes destroy homes in seconds, but rebuilding takes month.

• One bad kid in a class can alter the course of the class.

• One bad friend can bring your kids down. Outreach @ what expense?

• One bad church member can destroy a church.

A. Wisdom helps us AVOID sin and helps counter the EFFECTS of sin.

B. But we all suffer the FALLOUT of people sinning against us.

1. Abuse

2. Parental divorce/instability

3. Sins of the fathers have consequences (codependency)

C. Losses affect us at least ten times as much as GAINS.

Things that happen to us at a young age can create fears that are always there.

D. The Holy Spirit is gradually conforming us to the image of CHRIST (Romans 8:29).

E. Sometimes we need to understand people have been HARMED in ways we do not realize, and be particularly patient.

1. We don’t know what we don’t know.

2. People always do what they do for a reason; it may be a messed up reason.

F. We may never get over some things, but we can learn to LIVE LIFE despite the pain or wrongs we have done or suffered.

1. We need time to process

2. We need time to move on as well

3. This takes time and sometimes one, sometimes the other

After many years, Paul wrote Philippians 3:13-14, “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

I Timothy 1:15, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”

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