7 examples you shouldn't follow

 Learning from Negative Examples: Seven Paths Not to Follow

As we journey in our faith, it's not only wise to learn from the positive examples in the Bible but also to heed the lessons from those whose choices led them astray. Today, we will explore seven examples from Scripture that provide us with invaluable insights into what we should avoid as we seek to walk faithfully with the Lord.

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I. Peter's Denial of Jesus (Matthew 26:31-35 & 69-75)

We begin with the poignant example of Peter's denial. In Matthew 26:31-35 and 69-75, we witness how fear and doubt caused Peter to deny Jesus. His story teaches us the danger of compromising our faith under pressure and highlights the need to stand firm even in challenging situations.

II. The Jewish rulers: Following the Crowd Instead of God (John 12:42-43)

The Jewish rulers in John 12:42-43 illustrate the peril of following the crowd rather than obeying God. Their desire for approval from people overshadowed their devotion to God. This warns us against seeking the approval of others at the expense of our relationship with the Lord.

III. The One Talent Man (Matthew 25:14-18, 24-25)

The parable of the one talent man in Matthew 25:14-18 and 24-25 reminds us of the consequences of not using the gifts and opportunities God has given us. His example urges us to invest our talents for God's kingdom and not waste them due to fear or complacency.

IV. The Rich Ruler's Attachment to Wealth (Matthew 19:16-22)

The rich ruler's story in Matthew 19:16-22 highlights the danger of allowing material possessions to hinder our relationship with God. His refusal to part with his wealth reveals the challenge of prioritizing God's kingdom over earthly treasures.

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V. Ananias and Sapphira's Deception (Acts 5:1-11)

Ananias and Sapphira's deception in Acts 5:1-11 underscores the grave consequences of dishonesty and hypocrisy within the Church. Their story serves as a warning against pretending to be something we're not and teaches us the importance of sincerity in our actions.

VI. Diotrephes' Desire for Preeminence (3 John 9-10)

The example of Diotrephes in 3 John 9-10 reveals the destructive nature of seeking preeminence and authority within the Church. His actions teach us the importance of humility, cooperation, and serving others instead of pursuing personal agendas.

VII. Demas' Love for the World (2 Timothy 4:10)

Lastly, Demas' choice to love the world and forsake Paul's ministry, as seen in 2 Timothy 4:10, reminds us of the danger of prioritizing worldly desires over our commitment to God's work. His example cautions us against allowing worldly allurements to distract us from our faith.

7 examples you shouldn't follow

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Learning from these negative examples is a vital aspect of our spiritual growth. As we consider the paths that these individuals chose, may we be prompted to reevaluate our own lives and commitments. Let us guard against compromising our faith under pressure, seeking human approval over God's, wasting our God-given talents, being attached to material possessions, practicing deception, seeking personal preeminence, and loving the world more than God.

May these examples serve as a mirror for our own lives, helping us to make choices that honor God, strengthen our faith, and lead us closer to Him. Let us learn from their mistakes, seek God's guidance, and embrace a life that reflects wholehearted devotion to our Savior. May we walk in wisdom, avoiding the pitfalls that could hinder our spiritual journey, and instead live out our faith with conviction and purpose. 

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John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (NVI)