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Summary: A grouchy, closed-minded, stingy mentality works against you. A cheerful, open-minded, generous mentality will bring you many blessings in this life and in eternity.

Godly Zip and You

(Proverbs 18:14-16)

1. Jean Paul, a Cajun, moved to Texas and bought a donkey from an old farmer for $100. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day. The next day the farmer drove up and said, “Sorry, but I got some bad news. The donkey died.”

“Well then, just give me my money back.”

“Can’t do that, I went and spent it already.”

“OK then, just unload the donkey.”

“What are you gonna do with him?”

“I’m gonna raffle him off.”

“You can’t raffle off a dead donkey!”

“Sure, I can. Watch me. I just won’t tell anyone he’s dead.”

A month later the farmer met up with the Cajun and asked, “What happened with the dead donkey?”

“I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at $2 a piece and made a profit of $898.”

“Didn’t anyone complain?”

“Just the guy who won. So I gave him his $2 back.” [source: http://laughwithlife.net/jokes.html]

2. Rather than stew and be miserable, this man went forward, unethically, however! But, although you cannot respect his ethics, you can respect his attitude.

3. Proverbs encourages us to be positive and adjust to what we cannot change.

Main idea: A grouchy, closed-minded, stingy mentality works against you. A cheerful, open-minded, generous mentality will bring you many blessings in this life and in eternity.

I. You Enrich Your Life Through a CHEERFUL Attitude (14)

A. Your PHYSICAL wellbeing is affected by attitude

• The death of Nabal, the fool and Eli, the priest.

B. A crushed, DEVASTATED spirit drains you

1. So many things can cause this crushing: the sickness itself, betrayal, frustrated expectations, a sense of aloneness or abandonment, loss, personal attack…

2. "This paper has shown that the immune system is not an isolated entity from the psychosocial state of an individual. A person experiences many stressors throughout a day and lifetime. These stressors are affecting the ability of the immune system to function at the highest possible level." [http://www.personalityresearch.org/papers/beaton.html]

C. A JOYFUL heart helps pull you through

1. Proverbs 17:22, "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."

2. Cultivating joy takes time, & sometimes preceded by grieving what is lost. We have to process sadness. loss, grief, & disappointment first; we are not machines.

3. Proverbs 25:20, "Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on a wound, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart."

4.

A grouchy, closed-minded, stingy mentality works against you. A cheerful, open-minded, generous mentality will bring you many blessings in this life and in eternity.

II. You Enrich Your Life Through KNOWLEDGE (15)

A. The wise person INTENTIONALLY acquires knowledge

• Derek Kidner comments, "The repetition knowledge…knowledge is for emphasis, and the emphasis is no platitude, but on the paradox that those who know most know best how little they know." (Proverbs, page 122).

B. His ears SEEK out wisdom

C. Most people prefer to have their itching ears SCRATCHED instead

• Illustration: Reservoir Park – Mosquito bites, one alighting on my ear…

• We want quick relief, not long-term prevention; takes time/effort to learn

2 Timothy 4:2-3, "…preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths."

• We would rather be entertained than taught

• Not only are we defective because we have a sin nature, but our entire culture is anti-knowledge anti-wisdom

A grouchy, closed-minded, stingy mentality works against you. A cheerful, open-minded, generous mentality will bring you many blessings in this life and in eternity.

III. You Enrich Your Life Through Giving GIFTS (16)

• Aye Jaye story, "What, you’re not bringing gifts with you?"

A. You give a gift because you CARE what others think about you

1. You should want to make a positive impact upon others

2. Yes, prioritize pleasing God over pleasing others, but pleasing others is important.

3. You can often have the both/and choice; it is not usually the either/or.

4. Parable in Luke 16:1-9, The Shrewd Manager, Jesus is not spiritual enough for some of you

Luke 16:9, "I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings."

B. A gift expresses INTENTIONAL goodwill

Proverbs 19:6, "Many seek the favor of a generous man, and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts."

A bribe is an unethical gift. Proverbs 15:27 reads, "The greedy bring ruin to their households, but the one who hates bribes will live."

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