The sermon "Developing the Character Habits" - Joyce Meyer (online). God is always faithful to keep His promises. Learn how you can be more like Him in your everyday life as Joyce shares a message about duty, excellence, and integrity.
Joyce Meyer: the habit of being responsible. Gorge Washington carver said, "99% of all failure comes from people who have a habit of making excuses." So now tonight, I'm going to suggest that we all commit to not making any more excuses foranything. How about when you're late, instead of making an excuse, you say, "you know what? I'm sorry, I just didn't manage my time well." Here's the thing, do you know what? When we make excuses, we lie to ourselves, and it keeps us from getting free. But when we won't make an excuse and we take responsibility, now we're confronted with what we've really done, and it helps move us out of it into the place of freedom that God wants us to be. How many understand that when you make excuses, you're lying to yourself and all it does is just keep you in bondage, keeps you in it? You're still trying to catch up with that one. Deciding to take responsibility for your life can be absolutely shocking, because suddenly now we have nobody to blame. Hmm. We keep most of our bad habits simply because we won't stop blaming other people for them. "well, it's your fault I'm this way. It's your fault this and it's your fault that." Being responsible makes us honorable and it is the price of greatness. Don't let a reason why you are a way become an excuse to stay that way. "i'll take responsibility for that" are sweet words to me. As an employer, I get so weary of listening people try to justify everything that they've done. Why can't you just say, "i'll take responsibility for that"? I mean, if you need to explain something, explain it, but it's very difficult for a lot of people to just say, "i'll take responsibility for that," and that's a wonderful way to be. And I hate it when people give me their responsibility, and I'm partially to blame, because normally i'll take it, because I always had a false sense of responsibility because of what went on in my childhood with the abuse, and just having other people in my family who didn't deal with situations, and having the temperament that I already had and probably being born as a responsible person, I just took responsibility for all kinds of things that I didn't need to take responsibility for. So i've spent a lot of the last years trying to figure out when to stay out of stuff and when to get in it. Anybody else here have that problem? So i've come to the point, and I'm getting that way more and more and more, where I want everybody to take their own responsibility. It's not fair for one person to have to do everybody's responsibility. I love it when people say, "i'll be responsible for that," and then they follow through. Excuses are nothing new. People have been making excuses since the garden. You know about it. Adam made an excuse, "it's not my fault, it's that woman you gave me," and so in effect, he not only blamed eve, but he blamed God. "it's the woman you gave me. If you wouldn't have given me a woman to start with, then I wouldn't have eaten the apple." And then when he went to eve, eve blamed the devil. Everything was somebody else's fault. But if you remember the story accurately, God got Adam, eve, and the devil together, and he told 'em all what was gonna happen and there was nobody that was left out. Joyce Meyer said this, hot off the press, not even in the book. I just got this. "making excuses for our behavior, or the result of our behavior, is one of the weakest and most pitiful things that we do as human beings." That's facebook-worthy, but you can't have it 'til I put it on there. Making excuses for our behavior, or the results of our behavior, is one of the weakest and the most pitiful things that we do as human beings. An excuse is how we avoid responsibility. "well, I was gonna go vote, but it was raining." Oh, come on. "well, I was gonna go vote, but I was just busy that day." It's your responsibility to vote. If you're a citizen and you live here and you want to enjoy the freedoms that we have, then it's your responsibility to vote.
Joyce Meyer: we either take our responsibility or we're made accountable later on by our circumstances. If you're not responsible to make your car payments, you will be held accountable when they come and haul your car off. If you're not responsible to get to work on time and to do a good job while you're there, and give 8 hours work for 8 hours pay, then you will be accountable when you lose your job, or you're passed over and somebody else gets the promotion that you are believing for. And I did it like that on purpose, because a lot of times, we're believing for stuff. We want God to fly by and give us a miracle, but we haven't listened to him. We want God to listen to us, but we haven't listened to him. And yes, God is merciful, and yes, he blesses us when we don't deserve it, but you know exactly what I'm talking about. How many of you already know of a few areas in your life where you're not being excellent and you could use coming up higher? Well, then it's worth you being here tonight, isn't it? I'm telling you, this is gonna help you. I had a woman tell me, honestly, she said, "i can honestly tell you that after hearing you teach on excellence, it completely changed my life," because she said, "i had no idea that that was even important. I didn't have any idea that I wasn't an excellent person." She said, "i was raised by mediocre parents and I just did what they did and had no idea that it was even a problem." So I hope that I'm opening some eyes here just to say that these things really are important. Well, why? Okay, you know, if i've got this big jesus rhinestone pin on and a big cross around my neck, and I'm out being, you know, leaving my grocery cart, making a mess for everybody else to clean up, and doing all these things, and gossiping about the boss, and on and on and on, what does that say to people? You know what it says? Phony, hypocrite, and you know unbelievers love to call us hypocrites, so we don't want to do anything to deserve it. At least if they're gonna call us hypocrites, let it not be because we've earned it, amen? Now, what about duty? You know, there's a lot of things that people used to do just because it was their duty, and a man would do anything other than not be honorable. Lord, I wish we had those days again, don't you? Where men and women just wanted to be men and women of honor, and they would do what was right no matter what it cost them, because they would do anything rather than give up their honor. I mean, people did their duty. Now we have men by the hundreds of thousands leaving their families and their kids and won't even bother to support 'em and take care of 'em. Pathetic, absolutely, pitifully pathetic, pathetic.
Joyce Meyer: and if you're watching by television, and you've walked away from your responsibility in that area and you think that's okay, I'm just here to tell you that it's not okay. Yes, God forgives us, but you had the kids, you need to take care of 'em. It's your duty. It is your responsibility before God to take care of them.
Joyce Meyer: let's look at 1 timothy 5:4. I'm gonna show you a couple of other interesting things. You know, everything that we do doesn't have to be something we feel like doing. Did you hear me? Some things it's just our duty to do. Now, you know, don't go getting depressed on me. "but if a widow has children or grandchildren," now, this was talking about who the church should take care of and who was true widows. You know, God's original plan was not for the government to take care of the poor. It was for the believers to take care of the poor, and for people to take care of their own family. Come on.
Joyce Meyer: and one of the reasons why christians have gotten so lazy is they think, "well, that's not my responsibility anymore." You know, if we'd just stay busy helping the people who can't help themselves, we'd be so happy we wouldn't know what to do with ourselves. It's our duty to take care of parents and grandparents who can't take care of themselves. It's not somebody else's duty, it's our duty. "if a widow has children or grandchildren, see to it that these are first made to understand that it is their religious duty [to defray their natural obligation to those] at home, and make return to their parents or grandparents [for all their care by contributing to their maintenance], for this is acceptable in the sight of God." Okay, now, I have a widowed aunt who never had any children, and she's my mom's sister, and my uncle who died several years ago was my dad's brother, so there was always a real close bond there. Then I have my mom still, and she's 86, and my aunt is, like, 83, and we take care of them. We take care of them. They have, you know, their limited income, and we pay the rest of the bills and we keep 'em in a nice place. And our two daughters take them to the doctor, they do their laundry, so the whole family's involved in taking care of them. And I can tell you what, if I wasn't doing it, it would affect the rest of what I'm doing. You know why? Because it's my duty before God.
Joyce Meyer: now, do you know how easy it would be for me to say, "i don't have time to do that? My gosh, I'm busy trying to save the world." Well, you know what? I wouldn't have any anointing to try to help the rest of you if I wasn't doing my basic family duty before God. You say, "well, my parents mistreated me. I ain't taking care of them." Hey, mine mistreated me, too. There's nothing in here that says, "unless they mistreated you." Oh, well, pressing on. You know, the bible says in 1 timothy 5:8 that christians who don't take care of their family are worse than unbelievers. Okay, here we go. Start being responsible. Pay your bills. Pay your bills on time. Clean your house. Wash your car. Cut your grass. Don't look like you're living in a trash bin all the time. "man, I wish I wouldn't have come here tonight." Well, too bad, you're here.
Joyce Meyer: I just see this christian who goes to church on sunday and everything else in their life is a mess, and they're just sitting around believing for a miracle. It is not gonna work. Now, if you will start doing what you know to do--i always say, "if you do what you can do, God will do what you can't do." You're partners with God, and the holy spirit will lead you in how to get out of your messes, but he's not gonna come and just... Blow them all away, amen? "oh, my gosh, Joyce. If you knew how many messes I have in my life." Listen, you have no idea what a total, unbelievable wreck of a mess that I was. I mean, my mind was a mess. I didn't know how to talk. I didn't know how the think. I didn't know how to treat people. I was obnoxious. I mean, it was just terrible. I mean, I just had a terrible mess in my life, and i'll tell you what. I was trying to blame everybody, and I was praying for dave to change and praying for the kids to change. And one day God got a hold of me when I was praying for dave to change. He said, "dave's not the problem." I thought, "well, who is? There's only me and him."
Joyce Meyer: "well, I can't help but act this way because I was abused. Anybody who was treated the way I was treated would act this way." Come on, you gotta get rid of the excuses. You gotta stop blaming. Gotta start taking responsibility for your own behavior, because nobody else is responsible for your joy or your life except you. You and God working together can change anything, and no demon and no person on earth can keep you from the blessings of God if you begin to be led by the holy ghost. Come on, give him praise.
Joyce Meyer: and my very favorite habit--i think they're all my favorite, but this is the one I'm preaching on right now, so it's my favorite. Developing the habit of generosity. Oh, my, a generous person has a large soul. They're open. Generosity, I believe, is just the absolute most beautiful thing that we can see. God is so generous, and he never does just what he has to do. He always does "exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond, all that we could dare to hope, ask, or think." Treat people better than you would have to. Be good to people that aren't necessarily good to you. "well, why should I do that?" Because by doing that, you show yourself to be a child of God, matthew 5 says. By doing that, you show yourself to be a child of God. Forgive people who have hurt you. By doing that, you're behaving the way God behaves toward you. Be merciful to people. All of those things are generosity. And then also, help people. Learn to listen to people. And when you hear that they have a need, don't just all of a sudden get deaf. And now, here comes a zinger. You're not gonna like this. Stop asking God to do things for people that you could do and just don't want to.
Joyce Meyer: I'm telling you that 'cause God told me that, "stop praying and asking me to do things for people that you could easily do yourself, but just don't want to make the sacrifice to do it." What do you think of that, hmm?
Joyce Meyer: what do you think? You think that sounds good? You're not swallowing that one good. I better walk around the pulpit and try that again. Let's see. You know, I have many ways to get you to eat this meat I'm throwing out. You know what a good mother does when she feeds her babies vegetables and they spit 'em out...? So i'll stick with this as long as we need to, but you're having your spinach tonight so you can be popeye the sailor man. I don't think that everybody should have to run to superhero movies to find something to admire in the world. I think they ought to be able to admire you. What would happen if we heard of a need and met it? "well, Joyce, I can't meet every need I hear about." No, I'm sure that you can't, and you know what? Many years ago when I would feel like God wanted me to do something, i'd pray for 3 weeks and want 3 confirmations and, you know, a trumpet to blow and a prophecy, and then maybe finally I would give that person 10 bucks. Then I finally got to the point where I would just give, give, give, give, give, give, and then I kind of thought, "you know, I'm gonna start praying about this again, and maybe I'm going overboard," and you know what? I decided I don't like that. When I hear about a need, if I feel the urge to meet it and I can meet it, I'm just gonna meet it. And you know what? I have to tell you in a way, it's a little bit selfish. I am doing it for the people, but I'm also doing it for me, because it just flat out makes me happy. When I get all locked up in myself and it's just all about me, I begin to get little. My soul begins to shrink and I begin to get stingy and closed up. But when I open my heart of compassion, when I see a need and I open my heart of compassion, yes, it may cost me one of my goods or it may cost me a little money, or it may cost me a little time. I may have to swallow my pride and be kind to somebody who hasn't treated me right, but then I have a large soul and I'm open to God, and I can't think of my habit better to master than the habit of being a generous, excellent, responsible person who is really being used by God in a great way, amen? Don't try to get out of meeting needs. Don't think, "well, I don't have to, you know, I don't have to give again. I was here and I gave in the offering last night." Well, no, you don't have to. You didn't even have to give last night, but who says you can't? God won't get mad at you if you give twice, and I sure won't. I'm just trying to open our eyes to some of the ways that we think we let the enemy do our thinking. Man, I tell you what, if you are unhappy, one of the first things that I would ask myself if I were you is, "am I selfish?" I got one lady over here clapping. Clap louder, will you?
Joyce Meyer: I mean, it's the truth. "well, bless God, somebody's gotta take care of me." Well, you know what? God taught me a long time ago, "you tend to my business, i'll tend to yours." And I'm telling the truth. There's many times when God will not anoint you to help yourself, and that is so frustrating to me. It's like, you know, somebody will say, "oh, my gosh, what you said changed my life." And I'm thinking, "why can't I say something to me that'll change my life?" But you know what? God won't always let you help yourself, because he wants to do is he wants you to reach out and help somebody else, and then he brings a harvest by helping you. God will let you help others when you cannot help yourself, and one of the most important things you can do when you cannot help yourself is help somebody else, because now you're sowing a seed for God to bring a breakthrough in your life. Let us learn to form the habit of generosity, and don't just do what you absolutely have to do to think that you have fulfilled the law. Go super abundantly far over above and beyond. Do the best you can do in everything that you do. Be an excellent person. Take responsibility. Say, "God, I'm not making any excuses. If you'll help me, I want to do everything that you want me to do," and be as generous as you can possibly be. And if you begin to work with those three habits, I am telling you the absolute truth--how many of you are already getting the picture--there's gonna be no room for the others. There will not be any room for all the others, because you'll be so full of all the good stuff, that all that other junk won't even be a temptation for you. Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen.
Joyce Meyer: well, I really want to encourage you to focus on the good things that you want to do and stop focusing on all the bad things that you don't want to do. You know, we can overcome bad habits by making good habits. Today, we've got an offer for you that includes a book about this very subject but in addition to that book, you're gonna get four other great books. It's the "Joyce Meyer heritage library volume 2" and that means that we've already done volume 1. This has five books in it and it includes, "making good habits, breaking bad habits." Why don't you just make a decision right now that you're gonna start reading more than you have ever read in your life and set aside some time every day to read? And I think these books are really gonna help you as you pursue God and you want a deeper relationship with him. God bless you, have an amazing day. Announcer: in her more than 40 years of ministry, Joyce Meyer is known for teaching people how to practically apply God's word to every area of life. The "Joyce Meyer heritage library volume 2" is a special collection of some of her most powerful books. Each of the five books in this collection features life-changing truth and wisdom from God's word. The "Joyce Meyer heritage library" is available today for your gift of...OR More. Additionally, we're also offering Joyce Meyer's teaching, "living courageously," which includes two teachings on both cd and dvd. Learn how to make every decision based on faith rather than fear and pursue the destiny God has for you. This cd and the dvd set is available for your gift of...OR More so contact us now for either offer. To order, call us toll free at... Or visit us at Joycemeyer.org. Announcer: the bible, our instruction book for life. Spending time in God's word will change our lives but consistent and effective study can be challenging. That's one reason why Joyce Meyer is here to help. At Joycemeyer.org/biblestudy, you'll find ways to make your study time come to life with helpful resources, study suggestions, and encouragement from Joyce Meyer. Get the most you can studying God's word with everyday study. Sign up today at Joycemeyer.org/biblestudy.
Ginger: Brad, hand of hope's project girl focuses on being able to guide, restore, and love women and girls all around the world, and your role here in africa is huge. It's obviously an area, which pretty much the whole world is now, that many women and girls are in difficult circumstances.
Brad: yeah, that's so true. So many of our women here in africa are extremely vulnerable and often seen as sometimes lesser than men. We have a lot of women in our communities around here that exposed to things like rape. South africa, for example, you're more likely to be raped than to graduate from high school.
Ginger: oh, my goodness.
Brad: there's about a 40% chance being a woman in south africa that you will be raped.
Ginger: and this is such a passion for Joyce Meyer because she's been there. You know, she's experienced that type of heartache, and she really has that desire to make sure that all, all people but all women and girls know that there is healing from a situation like that. So, being able to have some of the initiatives that we have, the classrooms of hope, the feeding programs, the water initiatives, and especially human trafficing rescue are really making a difference in their lives.
Brad: absolutely. I mean, we're seeing a lot of girls now that used to be vulnerable to some of those elements that are completely removed from that and now are placed in environments of hope, safe spaces where they don't have to worry about those kinds of things. We're seeing women that were sent away all day to collect water that have been deprived from education just to go every day and collect water. We're now able to, through our programs, 'cause we provide clean water, we're able to remove that burden from the child and see that child get into school. And then at that
Ginger: how exciting that?
Brad: it's amazing.
Ginger: seriously. Brad: and then to be able to provide food at that school and to tell that child that they're not a second-rate citizen, but they're a child of God, made in the image of God, is pretty special.
Joyce Meyer: you know, I believe that a great question that we should ask ourselves is, "am I growing spiritually? Am I making progress in my spiritual growth, in spiritual maturity?" And, you know, I have to say honestly that I went to church for a lot of years and I really wasn't growing, I just went to church. And so, we need to really love the word. 1 Peter 2:2 says, "like newborn babies, you should crave and thirst for an earnestly desire, the pure unadulterated spiritual milk that by it you may grow unto completed salvation." And that just basically means working with the holy spirit to let what God has done in us in a free gift, as a free gift, be worked out through us where the world can begin to see it. Spiritual growth, spiritual maturity is not only important, it is very exciting. announcer: you mean more to us at Joyce Meyer ministries than you may ever know. We appreciate you and we thank our friends and partners for making this worldwide ministry possible. Together, we're feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, and presenting the gospel to the nations. Please contact us or visit Joycemeyer.org today to share your prayer requests, find out more about our resources, see Joyce Meyer's conference schedule, and to join us in partnership as we share the love of christ around the globe. announcer: the preceding was paid for by the friends and partners of Joyce Meyer ministries.