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   How To Be The Happiest Possible Christian



(Part Two)

I Samuel 30:1-6



Sunday Morning Sermon

April 25, 1999

Fair Avenue Baptist Church



Several weeks ago I preached a message from this passage.  I preached about “Tarry By The Stuff.”  And during that message we read a verse that, if we applied it to our lives, we would be the happiest possible Christian.


“...but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”


The Amalekites had taken his family,

His city was burned,

His men were turning on him,

They were ready to stone him,

Things looked bleak,

Very bleak.


When it looks bad, and it will from time to time.


When people turn on you, and they will.


When you take a place of leadership and decision, and people turn on you,


When it looks like all is lost,


When you feel like quitting,


When you feel like throwing in the towel,

Walking off,

And laying down,


You can’t!

David didn’t!


You and I can’t quit!

We can’t quit!








Our church needs us!

Our families need us!

The Lord wants us!


How are we going to be the happiest possible Christian?


What steps can we apply that will keep us going,

keep us from getting discouraged,

keep us from quitting?









Learn to control conversations and change negative or discouraging statements to positive ones.


For instance, “Can you believe that Diana Burrows?  She didn’t shake my hand this morning.”


Say, “I just thank the Lord for how far she’s come.  Just a few years ago she wasn’t in church, didn’t care about God, and look at her now.  She’s here all the time.  I think we ought to just praise the Lord for his mercy and patience.”



For instance, “Well, I’m not sure I’m going to like that Bro. & Mrs. Ridge.”


Say, “Aren’t they a cute couple?  And that little boy of theirs, Grant, isn’t he just the cutest thing?  Didn’t you enjoy that special she sang last week?”



For instance, “Well, I don’t know about this Vision Unlimited thing.”


Say, “Hey, I think it will be great.  I’m behind it 100%.  I can’t wait to see how God is going to bless.”










Take a stand,

Be a man!


Say, “You know, since it seems to bother you so much, let’s go talk to the preacher right now.  We’ll get it worked out right now.”


I promise you - you bring them immediately to the preacher and they’ll never ever bother you again with discouraging or negative statements.


And you be a much happier person.

Your Christian life will be a joy once again.

Your attitude will improve.



Prov. 26:4, “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.”


You try it for six months and I guarantee you that you’ll be a much happier person and a much better Christian.







By the way, if people keep coming to you, it’s because you’re a “yes-but-man.”


“Yes, I love the church, but...”


“Yes, I know there are rules, but...”


“Yes, Vision Unlimited sounds like a good thing, but...”


“Yes, I love the preacher, but...”


Instead of being a “yes-but-man,” be a “We’re-going-to-the-preacher” man.


The problem is that you like the attention.


You like the prestige you think you have because you’re a problem solver.


You like the way it makes you feel when people come to you with their problems.


It makes you feel important.









Before long you’ll start feeling more important than the pastor.


You’ll start second-guessing him,

You’ll start doubting the preacher,

You’ll start to wonder about things,

You’ll start to question his judgment.


And, over a period of time you will fill up your heart and soul with all kinds of discouraging and negative statements, and soon you’ll quit church altogether or you’ll end up just sitting in church with a frown or scowl on your face.


1.      Do not allow discouraging or negative statements




Romans 16:17, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them.”







You can’t get any plainer than that!


Avoid them!


Do you want to be the happiest Christian possible?


Avoid negative people!


Stay away from them.

Avoid them.

That’s what “avoid” means.


You know how you “avoid” your mother-in-law.


You realize she’s part of the family,

She’s your wife’s mother,

And you don’t mind if she comes around every-once-in-a-while,

But most of the time you avoid her.


If the Word of God says avoid negative people, what possible motive do we have for hanging around them?







Listen, you can’t hang around negative people without becoming negative yourself.


Be friendly,

Be cordial,

Be Christian,

But otherwise, stay away from them!


Avoid being around them,

Avoid having any lengthy conversations with them,

Stay away from them.


What we need to say is:

“You’re too negative.”

“You’re too critical.”


“I want to be happy, so please don’t be so negative around me.”


“I want to enjoy my Christian life, so please don’t be critical around me.”







Our problem is that our close friends are the most negative.


And, so, you hear negative stuff all the time.


You hear criticism all the time.


And it gets you down,


It gets you discouraged,


And it’ll cause you to lose your joy.


Avoid negative people.


“But, preacher, it’s my mom.”


I understand.  Here’s what you do.  You start praying and asking God for strength.  You pray and pray and pray for God’s strength and wisdom in handling the matter.


And then, when the right time comes, say, “Mom, I love you.  But, I just can’t handle all this negative talk and criticism.  Please don’t talk like that around me.  Please.  I’m working real hard to keep the joy and happiness in my Christian life.  Mom, please, please, don’t talk negative or critical around me.”


Will it hurt her feelings?  Probably.


Will it hurt your spirituality to listen to negative and critical remarks?  Definitely!


It WILL discourage you.

It WILL hurt you.

It WILL damage you.







It MIGHT hurt them.

It WILL hurt you.


1.      Do not allow discouraging or negative statements.

2.      Avoid negative people.




Now, that may sound redundant, and it probably is.  But let me get more specific.


When someone starts talking about how bad something is - STOP!


Don’t listen to a bad report about a bus route.


“Well, I notice that Bus #1 was down today.”



Don’t listen to a bad report about a Sunday School class.


“Well, I noticed that J.W. didn’t have very many in his class this morning.”



Don’t listen to a bad report about the Nursery.


“Did you know that when I kept the Nursery last Sunday that it was kinda messy?”







Don’t listen to a bad report about the Choir.


“It looks like the number of people in the choir is down.”



Don’t listen to bad reports about attendance and offerings.


“Well, did you see the attendance board?  The attendance and offerings were down.”



Do you really want to be the happiest Christian possible? 


Don’t allow discouraging or negative statements,


Avoid negative people,


And don’t listen to bad reports.


People with bad reports are bad people.


Stay away from them.







Paul even names them, “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil...”  II Tim. 4:14


He wanted the people to stay away from negative and critical people and so he even named them.


1.      Do not allow discouraging or negative statements

2.      Avoid negative people

3.      Do not listen to bad reports




This should have been number one because it is the source of our biggest problems.


The truth is that we have more than our share of problems,


We have more than we can shake a stick at,







We’ve got more than we can say grace over,


And we want to add other people’s problems on top of ours.


Yes, we are to bear one another’s burdens, but burdens are not problems.


If someone is ill and needs our prayers, then more power to it.


If someone is praying for a lost loved one or a wayward child, then more power to you.


But, if someone is whining or complaining about the church, just be honest and tell them you don’t have time to worry about it.


Why do you want to add more complications and more worry and more to think about to your life?


Your thinking,


“How are we going to pay all our bills this month?”







“I really wish I had a better job.  My supervisor is on my case all the time.”


“The wife and I are having problems.”


“My mother-in-law is driving me crazy.”


“The house looks like a tornado went through it.”


“The kids are driving me absolutely crazy.”


“The car’s not running right.  I need to fix it, but where am I going to get the money.”


“The kids are having trouble with their grades at school.


“My mom’s heart is giving her problems again.  What am I going to do if something happens to her?”


“I never have enough time to do what I need to do.”


“I wish I had more time to go fishing.”




“I’ll call up John and let him tell me all about his problems and that’ll make me feel better.”


“I’ll call up critical Charles and listen to him gripe and complain about the church and that’ll make me feel better.”


“We’ll invite negative Nellie over for supper and listen to her tell me how bad things are around the church and that’ll make me feel better.”


And so you listen to discouraging statements.

You hang around negative people.

You listen to bad reports.

And to top it off, you make other people’s problems your problems.


SURELY, that’ll make you a happy, rejoicing Christian.







No, it won’t and you know it.


But, that is exactly what so many Christian do, and then wonder why they are so unhappy.


Do you want to be the happiest Christian you can possibly be?


I just gave you four ways to help.


The choice is yours.

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