All of us are far from perfect. We all have habits and behaviors that are harmful. Some of these habits clearly affect others, while others only affect us…or do they?

Let me explain with a quick fictional example loosely based on reality…

There is a man named Bob whose doctor diagnosed him with high blood pressure when he was in his twenties and was advised to watch his diet. Bob was not over weight and did not have any apparent symptoms, so he continued to eat and drink what he wanted. Bob had one sibling, a brother named Steve, who was married with a family. Both of their parents had already passed away, his father had a heart attack and mother had a stroke.

Through the years, Steve constantly pleaded with his brother to watch his diet and exercise, reminding him what happened to their parents, but Bob would respond, “I’m fine! Chill out bro!” Steve would offer to work out with his brother, but Bob would say, “Man, you can have that!” I do curls when I lift my fork and beer bottle!”

Well, Bob eventually had a severe stroke that required him to live in a nursing home at the age of 46 years old. He could not take care of himself. He had to be fed, bathed…completely taken care of. It was very difficult to understand what Bob was saying because the stroke affected his ability to speak. He had no wife or children, but Steve would come and visit him regularly. These visits were difficult because Steve would have to constantly wipe drool from his brothers’ mouth, and would have to call the nurse to clean him when he could smell that Bob had ‘used the bathroom’ in his diaper. Sometimes Steve would have to leave to room to hide his tears. He would regularly take time away from his family to visit his brother, including on holidays. Before the stroke, Bob would always come and visit with his brother, but now that was impossible.

I think it’s easy to see that Bob’s bad eating habits with his medical condition did not only affect him as he thought. Steve’s love for his brother compelled him to be there for him and see him if a condition that was hurtful to him.

This is true for all bad habits that we claim only affect us when we have those who really care about us.


Drug abuse…

Squandering money…

Neglecting, misusing or abusing our bodies…

Just to name a few.

Many of our bad habits forces those of us who love us to take care of us, support us, sustain us, visit us, or see us as we live out the consequences of our bad behavior.

Remember, this verse works both ways…

1 Timothy 5:8 (NKJV)

But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

We also take care of our families by taking care of ourselves!




Sometimes as soon as your feet hit the floor it seems that trouble is waiting for you. It may carry over from the day before, or you can wake up in a great mood and helplessly see everything around you spiraling downward.

You feel helpless. As much as you struggle to get a handle on things, they slip right through your fingers.

Sometimes its even after you prayed for peace, for direction, for protection…for God to bless your day.

How could He allow such calamity when you just asked Him for peace.

Think about this. It’s easy to have peace in a peaceful situation, But, how can you know that God has given you true peace unless you see that you can maintain it when surrounded by trouble.

Sometimes God allows trouble to show you He answered your prayer for peace. To prove to you that your peace is established in Him, and not what’s going on around you…

John 14:27 (NKJV)

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

So I encourage you, that when your day starts off ‘bad’…TRUST GOD through it…


  1. Tell God that you love Him and you trust Him. The devil wants to manipulate the situation to make you doubt God. He wants to interrupt your prayer life and fellowship with God. He wants you to think God doesn’t hear you or care. There is power in telling God, in the face of the devil, that you love Him and trust Him.
  2. Get out your bible, bible app, or whatever you use and turn to Psalms. Feed yourself with a book full of encouragement in adversity. Read several and meditate on them all day. Notice how the Psalms that begin in trouble always end in praise and trusting God.
  3. Don’t let the trouble provoke you to step outside of God’s character. Don’t curse. Don’t blame. Don’t backslide. Don’t damage your testimony.
  4. Find a way to give God glory in the situation. Sometimes it’s speaking peace into others who are troubled. Sometimes it’s allowing them to see your resolve in crisis.
  5. Maintain God’s purpose. Sometimes trouble can lead you to give up or say who cares. Even a momentary lapse in your calling or purpose can cause catastrophic damage. Remember, that God promised through the Apostle Paul that ALL things work TOGETHER for the GOOD of those who LOVE Him and are CALLED according to HIS purpose.

Sorry if you were expecting some magic prayer or exercise to suddenly turn things around. We have to many people of spiritual influence doing that now.  That’s not how God works. In fact, that only turns your faith into superstition. God is developing us to conform into the image of His Son…and who’s day started out worse than Jesus’ did a little over 2000 years ago when He went to the cross for us.

Remember this…

Psalm 34:19 (NKJV)

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.






I think we all want to be valued as a person. In our families…In our relationships…In our professional life…In our spiritual life…We all want to be valued.

We make room for what and who brings value to our lives. No one, and I mean no one avoids anyone who brings value to their lives. And, the greatest value is in the intangible things that money can’t buy. I like to call them intangible tangibles. You can’t see them, but they are so real.

But, I’m not going to talk about the typical intagibles that commonly first come to mind…you know love, joy etc. etc.

I’m talking about 3 intangibles that when you possess these abilities, people will always value you. And they all spring from a spiritual gift…exhortation!

Romans 12:6-8 (NKJV)

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who EXHORTS, in EXHORTATION; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

A good strong exhortation encourages and strengthens.

People with these attributes can even tend to be ‘used’, but no one uses anyone that they don’t value.

You will always be valued if you can ENCOURAGE, INSPIRE AND ENTERTAIN…


Everyone needs encouragement. The fact is, that not only do we need encouragement when we are down, but we also need encouragement when we are up. Think of the people in your life who are encouraging to you. Most of the time it’s the same person or people with whom you seek out to share both your good and bad news. It’s the one with whom you want to share your good days, and the one you know you can depend on to help you want to go on during your bad days. Now think of the people who you can depend on to discourage you. Who do you value more in your life?


Who inspires you? What inspires you? Who makes you want to be a better person? Who makes you want to pursue your purpose? Who makes you want to accomplish the impossible? Is it a family member? Is it a former teacher?  Is it a great leader? Is it someone that you have seen endure incredible odds? Is it someone who came from what we call ‘nothing’ to achieve greatness? That’s why we love heroes because they inspire us. Inspiration is so powerful that even evil people are inspired by other evil people. When you inspire people, they will want to be around you on their best day and worst day.


Even though we aren’t all entertained in the same way, everyone loves to be entertained. In this harsh world, we all need temporary breaks from reality to refresh ourselves.  Everyone loves being around someone who entertains them. It may be someone who always has an interesting story. It may be a gifted musician, singer, poet, artist or author. It may be someone who is very engaging to talk to…it may be someone who always makes us laugh and smile. I believe that comedy is an aspect of the gift of exhortation…what’s more encouraging than a good laugh? (Read this…ARE YOU A MINISTER OF LAUGHTER?

Proverbs 17:22 (NKJV)

22 A merry heart does good, like medicine,[a]
But a broken spirit dries the bones.

Think about how David found favor with Saul because he was a skilled musician…

1 Samuel 16:23 (NKJV)

23 And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.

Everyone love being around someone who makes them laugh. Someone who makes them feel better. Nothing lifts one out of despair like a well-timed laugh. If you have the ability to entertain…sing, dance, speak, act, are you athletic…whatever makes the heart feel lighter…whatever helps us escape from reality, you will be valued.

These gifts are to be used to be a blessing to one another and bring glory to the God of our salvation.

So, how has God blessed you to encourage, inspire or entertain? Know your gifts because that’s where others will find your value.


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