One major temptation that is sure to kill any seed trying to push up through the soil of your heart is the following thought: A desire is not worth pursuing if it is not going to affect a significant number of people. I know that not everyone struggles with such a desire. But for those that do—including myself at times—it is crucial to remember that consequences, or fruit, or results—whatever lingo you want to use—falls more under God’s job description. What has God put in your heart? What seems stupid but you really want to try? What will you regret not pursuing five years from now? I think these are good questions.
When reading the Bible, do you skip around? Let me be bold and maybe a little offensive: this is a bad idea. I don’t mean sinful, but just bad. When is the last time that you picked a book in the Bible—maybe Genesis or Matthew or John or Romans or 1 Peter—and read it slowly and reread it for weeks and even months? Use online sources. Buy a commentary (I can recommend some simple ones). Listen to podcasts. Watch YouTube videos. My point is that God’s Word is best excavated by plunging oneself into a specific book. Try it.
Are you making excuses for your anger or facing it? There is righteous anger. Yet, much of our anger is rooted in our selfishness. Anger is not bad in and of itself (Ephesians 4:26) and can be an appropriate and healthy response. To not feel anger at certain times can be a symptom of some sort of mental illness or moral deficiency. Yet, much of our anger is not good, hurts others, and needs addressing. The fruit of the Spirit is much more attractive! (Galatians 5:22–23). Don’t make excuses. God is in the business of bettering souls.