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#16 The Danger of Good Things and How to Protect Yourself -Podcast

Are good things really good for you? You might be surprised by the answer in this week’s podcast.

In this episode of Now is the Time I talk about the inherent danger in good things, how we are often blind to this danger and what we can do to protect ourselves.

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 Good things can be dangerous

We don’t usually think of good things as being dangerous, but if we’re not careful they can be deadly.  Here are 3 ways that good things can turn around and bite us.

Good things become dangerous when we get so busy with them that we forget God.

Yes, even good things like work, hobbies, sports and sometimes even ministry can do us harm if we allow them to take over our life. In the gospels Jesus’ friend Martha was consumed with a good thing, she was serving Jesus, she was being hospitable. Unfortunately her desire to do something good made her too busy to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to the Word of God.

“Martha, Martha! You worry and fuss about a lot of things.  But there’s only one thing you need. Mary has chosen what is better, and it is not to be taken away from her.” Luk 10:40-42

Good things become dangerous when they are unlimited.

Just think about it, things like food, sex, painkillers, money and power are all good but when they are unlimited or unregulated they can quickly turn into terrible addictions that will destroy a person physically and spiritually.

America is the land of abundance, but often that abundance hurts us. Having more than what we need tends to pull us away from God and cause us to forget our spiritual need. Moses warned the Israelites about this before they crossed the Jordan River into the Promise land.

“When the LORD your God brings you to the land that he promised to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, he will give you large and beautiful cities that you didn’t build, houses filled with every good thing that you didn’t supply, wells that you didn’t dig, and vineyards and olive groves that you didn’t plant. When you eat and are satisfied, be careful not to forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and slavery.” Deu 6:10-12

Good things become dangerous when we believe they are the source of happiness and fulfillment

While good things can bring us temporary pleasure they are  not the source of the deeper joy and fulfillment we seek. Only God can provide true happiness.

When we think that something created can fulfill us we turn it into an idol of the heart. Idols can never do what God can do.

“They have mouths, but cannot speak; they have eyes, but cannot see.
They have ears, but cannot hear; they have noses, but cannot smell;
They have hands, but cannot touch; feet, but cannot walk; they cannot even groan with their throats.
Those who craft them will become like them, as will all those who trust in them.” Psa 115:5-8

The only way we can guard ourselves from the danger of good things is by guarding our hearts

“You are to love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.
Let these words that I’m commanding you today be always on your heart.” Deu 6:5-6

Question: How have you seen the danger of good things? What else can we do to protect ourselves

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I am a pastor, missionary, and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Ukraine since 2007. God blessed me with a wonderful wife and 5 amazing children! My greatest passion is to teach, encourage, and exhort others to turn to Jesus, who is Savior, Lord, and God!

  • With you completely. We tend take the gifts and blessings then slowly we tend to worship the provision instead of the Provider. It is a discipline to draw nigh unto our Father, but once we do He draws nigh unto us. There is no other hope…

    • Good way to put it Floyd, worship the Provider, not the provision.

  • Good things, Caleb. I like to say that good things aren’t necessarily best things. “Throw off everything that hinders,” Hebrews 12 tells us. Thanks for this reminder.

    • That’s a good verse to add to this discussion. Even good things can hinder us at times.

  • This post reminds me of the book I’m writing now. Good things can blind us and make us lax in Watching and Praying.

    I’ll post this on Twitter and Google +, I’d love to win…it’s if it’s God’s will. 🙂

    • I didn’t know you were writing a book TC! That’s exciting! Thanks for sharing.

      • Thanks, Caleb. I think I’m being naive and optimistic about when it will be published, but it’s my target date to motivate me to get moving.

        • Keep me posted, I’d love to read it.

  • The danger of good things seems to be that we don’t think about them after labeling them “good.” We have so much “bad” to combat in this world, that the “good” gets lost. Truth is, we need to assess every aspect of our lives and make sure it fits with God’s truth. Yet, unfortunately, once something is labeled “good,” it’s often relegated to the bottom f the priority list if it makes the list at all. And so, the focus really does need to be guarding our hearts specifically and not on anything else. We need to avoid considering the label and instead consider the state of our hearts. Good, thought-provoking post, Caleb.

    • You’re right those labels can get us into trouble because they make us think that if the label is good then it must be good for us. Thanks for adding to the discussion Kari!

  • Betty Draper

    Welcome to the land of plenty good things. It’s over whelming and demanding because it’s every where in every area.
    For me the best way to guard my heart is the Word. . To check my hearts often with the truths such as you have posted. If all we had was the few scripture’s you have quoted it would be enough to keep our hearts directed toward Him. I have a hard time when someone shows me all the version they have of the bible which of course is a good thing but they never think of those who do no even have one bible. Even the amount of churches we have is viewed as a good thing, everyone can have their personal choice. Yet church planting in America is the focus of a lot of churches. My missionary heart wants to say, hey how about planting a church in a remote village where there is no churches. Ok I am ranting now…airing my frustrations with stateside living. I say all that to say your post is right on brother. Great post.
    P.S. Love the podcast with the kids.

    • Good point about the Bible Betty. Americans certainly have a lot and we often don’t realize how little others have, especially in other parts of the world.

  • I believe the Lord wants to bless us up to the ability that we can manage our hearts. He’s a gracious and generous Father. In order for me to receive the “true riches” I must manage well what I have in the natural. Thanks for posting!

    • Good point Greg! God does want to bless us and he also gives us the power and ability to manage all those good things that he blesses us with!

  • This is so true. I’ve regularly asked God to help me to enjoy his blessings as good gifts from him – things that help me turn my eyes to him instead of drawing the focus to the gift.

    • That’s something we all have to do regularly, our natural tendency is to focus on the gift rather than the giver.