Summary: Nine words that begin with the letter "I", which defeat the true power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

As we look at the actions or inaction’s of life, and

especially in the Church, we can see some REASONS for

why things happen or don’t happen.....and we also can see

some EXCUSES for why things happen or don’t happen.

A. When I first thought of this subject, I was narrowly

applying it to just one aspect of life...but as I thought

about it, I realized that this is true in respect to

ALL aspects of life.

1. It is true in the physical sense and it equally

applies to spiritual things, as well.

The amazing thing about my observations is this one fact....

understanding that EVERYTHING cannot be reduced to

this one fact....but I did notice that all of the explanations

and all of the excuses incorporate words that begin with the

letter, “I”.

A. I am not trying to be “cutesie” with really

took form this way.

1. Extrapolating even further....could it be that

the problem can all be boiled down to one flaw?

a. We will have more on this thought in our


I. People do or don’t do what should be done...what needs

to be done...what MUST be done...because they are


A. They just don’t seem to care.

1. Things that are really pressing...very important...

vital to their well-being.........just don’t SEEM



a. The reality of the matter is that the situation

.....the importance or possible

not being realized..........false perceptions have

lulled this person into a false sense of security,

peace, or fulfillment.

1.) If they could actually SEE OR

PERCEIVE the importance and/or the

danger, ..........they would certainly take

a different stance.

Note :Num. 22:23-34 - 23Now the donkey saw the

Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn

sword in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the

way and went into the field. So Balaam struck the donkey

to turn her back onto the road. 24Then the Angel of the

Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a

wall on this side and a wall on that side. 25And when the

donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she pushed herself

against the wall and crushed Balaam’s foot against the

wall; so he struck her again. 26Then the Angel of the Lord

went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was

no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27And

when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she lay down

under Balaam; so Balaam’s anger was aroused, and he

struck the donkey with his staff.

28Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and

she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you

have struck me these three times?” 29And Balaam said to

the donkey, “Because you have abused me. I wish there

were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!” 30So

the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on

which you have ridden, ever since I became yours, to this

day? Was I ever disposed to do this to you?” And he said,


31Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the

Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn

sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on

his face. 32And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why

have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I

have come out to stand against you, because your way is

perverse before Me. 33“The donkey saw Me and turned

aside from Me these three times. If she had not turned aside

from Me, surely I would also have killed you by now, and

let her live.” 34And Balaam said to the Angel of the Lord,

“I have sinned, for I did not know You stood in the way

against me. Now therefore, if it displeases You, I will turn


II. Another reason for why people do or don’t do, lies in

the fact that they are INCOGITANT...OR


A. While these two words are very closely related, they

are not especially the same.

1. Incogitant means thoughtless.

a. A person can just not think through what they

are doing or not doing.

1.) They may not even realize how their

actions (or lack of action) will affect those

around them.

a.) The end result may be the same as that

produced by an inconsiderate person,

but it will probably be unintentional....


2. The inconsiderate person is different.


WILL AFFECT OTHERS.....he just doesn’t


1.) This person does not.....or will not....

consider the impact of his actions on


a.) This person has forgotten the

the Words of Christ found in

Matt. 7:12 and Matt. 22:38-39:

Matt. 7:12 - 12“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to

you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Matt. 22:38-39 - 38“This is the first and great

commandment. 39“And the second is like it: ‘You shall

love your neighbor as yourself.’

** There is no way that a person can be showing the

love of God and fellow man when he completely

ignores the impact that he has on others.

III. We also have the reason that most people try to hide

behind. Sometimes it is true, but it may not suffice

as a legitimate reason....only an excuse......this is the

problem of IGNORANCE.

A. We were all ignorant of something at sometime.

1. As time went on, we were expected to come to

the knowledge that was necessary to make good

decisions and take appropriate actions.

a. Ignorance is like Maple syrup.......a little bit

goes a long way.

1.) There are times when we might not know..

but it is incumbent upon us to make it a

point to know.

Acts 17:30 - 30“Truly, these times of ignorance God

overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to


Eph. 4:17-18 - 17This I say, therefore, and testify in the

Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the

Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18having their

understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of

God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of

the blindness of their heart.

a.) Ignorance of the civil law is said to be

no we expect God to

be any different?

IV. The next problem is related a bit to inconsideration,

but it may be more of a flaw in one’s makeup....rather

than an attitude (such as inconsideration). This


A. Again, the end result may be the same as

incogitance and inconsideration, but it comes about

from not be attuned to the needs and feelings of


1. Generally speaking, this situation comes about

when people are to introspective and don’t

notice their surroundings or the people around


a. You might say that these people walk around

in a fog and really don’t have a clue about


B. Insensitive people leave a wake of hurt feelings

behind them and they may not even realize the

damage that they have done.

1. This damage comes in the form of things

said without any consideration of how it might

impact upon another person.

a. Unlike the inconsiderate person who

really doesn’t care what anybody thinks...

this person really doesn’t

REALIZE what others may feel or think.

2. This problem may also be displayed in the


a. People are left out of invitations...some

are not included in activities or work that

needs to be done............all because of

flawed thinking or no thinking at all,

when it comes to how this will affect


Romans 12:15-16 - 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, and

weep with those who weep. 16Be of the same mind toward

one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but

associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own


V. Next, we come to the INCOMPETENT.

A. Webster defines, “incompetent”, as being not


1. Of all the reasons for problems, this might be

the only one that could be considered, valid...

in some circumstances.

a. Three scenarios arise.

1.) The person who is incompetent

and won’t admit it.... and tries to do

what he/she is not capable of doing.

a.) This almost always ends in


b.) This person could have

admitted the problem and

called in someone who could

have accomplished something.

2.) The person who is incompetent

likes it that way and is not willing

to ever become competent.

a.) Dumb as a Dodo Bird and

likes it that way.

3.) The person who is really

competent but wants to hide behind

the excuse that he/she doesn’t

know what to do.

B. In many, if not most, areas.....those who are

not able to perform a task, can be trained....they

can learn.

1. A lot of it depends upon their faith in God to

be there for them.

a. It is true that we, of our own volition,

cannot do many may not

ever be necessary to do some things....

but in those things that may be needed

by the Lord, we need to make ourselves

available to the leading of God.

Phil. 4:13 - 13I can do all things through Christ who

strengthens me.

VI. Another problem stems from IRRESPONSIBILITY.

A. Not wanting to be....or the act of NOT BEING

a responsible person................say nothing of a

responsible Christian.

1. It all boils down to one question: “If

nobody is responsible to see that the things

of God get done....who will go?”

Isaiah 6:8 - 8Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:

“Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said,

“Here am I! Send me.”

a. We are probably all too willing to say:

“Here he is, Lord....send him!”

B. A lack of responsibility may be a product of a

fear of failure.

** Again, Phil. 4:13 comes into play: Phil. 4:13 - 13I can

do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

1. Some reason that if they don’t do anything,

they can’t be at fault for anything.

a. The point is..........if one knows what

needs to be done...what should be done...

what MUST be done......and doesn’t

do it because they are afraid of doing

something wrong....they have already



James 4:17 - to him who knows to do good and does not

do it, to him it is sin.

VII. The next word that comes to mind is the word:


A. This is a stubborn person who will not yield to the

wishes of others or the commands of God.

1. In some respects this person is a rebel.

a. There are those who are actually

somewhat proud of not complying with

orders, instructions, or requests.

1.) They view this as displaying their

individuality and independence.

a.) God views it as rebellion,

disobedience, and insolence.

Isaiah 15:23a - 23 For rebellion is as the sin of

witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and


B. Incompliance stems from is the flip side

of the coin of “meekness”.

1. To submit to the will and wishes of someone some degree.....means the

mortification of self.

a. Self is the source of all pride.

1.) An incompliant person is disruptive

and cannot (will not) be used of the


a.) We, as potter’s clay, need to

be “pliable”

to bend to the wishes of God

and His leading.

Romans 9:20-21 - 20But indeed, O man, who are you to

reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who

formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21Does not

the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to

make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?

b.) An incompliant person is stiff-

necked and

pottery, he is only good for the

trash heap.

VIII. The word, INIRTIA also came to mind.

A. In science, inertia, is defined (in part) as the

tendency to stay at rest.

1. Another word that comes to mind in relation

to the word, “inertia”, is the word, LAZY.

Prov. 24:30-34 - 30 I went by the field of the lazy

man, And by the vineyard of the man devoid of

understanding; 31 And there it was, all overgrown with

thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall

was broken down.32 When I saw it, I considered it

well; I looked on it and received instruction: 33 A little

sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to

rest;34 So shall your poverty come like a prowler, And

your need like an armed man.

a. A lot of what doesn’t get done is from

pure, raw.....LAZINESS!

1.) We don’t like it when we detect it

in others........we may not even

like it when we detect it in


a.) Our repugnance for laziness

doesn’t seem to motivate

enough, however, to eliminate

the problem.

B. Laziness is pure pandering to self, pleasure, self-

indulgence, and self-gratification.

1. The only way to overcome laziness is to rise

above the wants and desires of the flesh and

force self into submission to the will of God

and the needs of our fellow Christian.

Matt. 16:24-26 - 24Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If

anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and

take up his cross, and follow Me. 25“For whoever desires

to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for

My sake will find it. 26“For what profit is it to a man if he

gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what

will a man give in exchange for his soul?

** It’s just too bad that the second part of the definition of

“inertia” isn’t encountered more......”That which is in

motion has a tendency to remain in motion.”

IX. The last word that comes to mind is the word,


A. Of all the words that contribute to problems, this

word is the worst.

1. To be incorrigible is to be UNWILLING TO


a. All of the other things that have been

mentioned can be remedied if a person

is willing to admit his error and repent.

1.) One who is incorrigible WILL


** According to God, it is IMPOSSIBLE to save a person

who is unwilling to repent.

B. It may be that this person cannot see what the

problem is.....this is ignorance.

1. But when a person sees himself reflected in

the mirror of God’s Holy Word....he has a

decision to make: 1.) Change what

this reflection indicates. 2.) Walk away

from the mirror......fully knowing and

understanding the ugliness of what is seen.....

and continue through life with this ugliness

still attached.

Luke 13:2-5 - 2And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do

you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than

all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3“I

tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise

perish. 4“Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam

fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse

sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5“I tell

you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”


At the beginning of this message, I hinted at the possibility

that all of these problems could be summarized in one one thought.

A. The word or thought is seen throughout all ofthese


1. I don’t think that it was a co-incidence that all

of these words started with the letter, “I”.....

a. This is the problem........I

All problems stem from an undue influence of self.

A. If Christians cannot or will-not crucify and deny

the will of self, all of these “I” words will haunt

and defeat us in our quest for eternal life.

Christians need to vigilantly see to it that they keep self in a

subservient role to both God and man.