Four Deadly Habits That Can Paralyze Your Time and Energy

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Years ago when I was going through a difficult time, a counselor warned me about four deadly habits that can paralyze your time and energy.

She called them time wasters. But they have the potential to destroy more than our time. They can render us useless, ineffective, and depressed. I can testify. Been there, done that.

We could list a dozen, but what are the top four deadly habits? 

Is there hope to overcome them? 

What does God’s Word have to say about these? Does He offer any help? 

  • Worry 

Worry is unproductive: “Can one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27 NIV 

Worry borrows from the future: “So don’t worry about tomorrow…Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34 NLT 

Worry zaps our energy: “Worry weighs a person down.” Proverbs 12:25 NLT 

Worry replaces prayer: “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Philippians 4:5-7 The Message 

  • Fear

Fear can leave you lonely and ineffective and make you forget about God’s constant presence: “Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NLT 

Fear is the opposite of faith: “Jesus responded, ‘Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!’” Matthew 8:26 NLT 

Fear assaults your true value: “‘And the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.’” Luke 12:7 NLT 

Fear limits your potential: “But the man who received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money….you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned, I would have received it back with interest.” (see Matthew 25:14-29 NIV) 

  • Indecision

Indecision can result in a lack of direction: “Who are those who fear the Lord? He will show them the path they should choose.” Psalm 25:12 NLT 

Indecision can paralyze your future: “‘How long are you going to waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him!’” 1 Kings 17:21 NLT 

Indecision will cause emotional distress and divide your loyalties: “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24 NLT 

  • Procrastination

Procrastination is the enemy of good planning and wisdom: “My child, don’t lose sight of good planning and insight. Hang on to them, for they fill you with life and bring you honor and respect. They keep you safe on your way and keep your feet from stumbling.” Proverbs 3:21-23 NLT 

Procrastination denies others God’s blessings: “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, ‘Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.’” Proverbs 3:27-28 NLT 

Procrastination can lead to poverty: “If you are too lazy to plow in the right season, you will have no food at the harvest.” Proverbs 20:4 NLT 

Procrastination is a master of excuses: ” The lazy person is full of excuses, saying, ‘If I go outside, I might meet a lion in the street and be killed!” Proverbs 21:13 NLT 

These four deadly habits can creep in without warning and catch us offguard. They are not only time wasters; they can drain our emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.

God Will Help Us Overcome

But even though at times we’ll struggle with these temptations and habits, God can and will help us overcome them.  

What about you? Do you struggle with these four deadly habits? Which one bothers you the most? How has God helped you (or is helping you) to overcome them? What encouragement can you offer to someone who needs help with these? What Scripture has encouraged you the most in dealing with these habits? 

I’d love to hear your comments below. You will not be hounded, prodded, or automatically added to my mailing list if you do so. And your e-mail information does not show to the public. Will you take a moment to encourage someone else? 

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I have drawn the names for the book giveaways from all the comments left on my recent blog, “How to Accomplish More with Only One Thing.” The winner for 40 Days in God’s Presence is Janet Chester Bly. I’m waiting for confirmation from the winner for the Day-votions book. Stay tuned! I’ll be having more book giveaways in the future. 

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    7 Responses to “Four Deadly Habits That Can Paralyze Your Time and Energy”

    1. Maxine Ferguson on February 11th, 2011 2:17 pm

      For sometime now I have been without work. I have to care for my mom and my son and I am an only child. I sometimes get tired emotionally and mentally because of all the above. I encourage myself by reminding me that the just shall live by faith and that God is a God of integrity and He will never leave and forsake me. At times we feel alone but He promises never to leave us or forsake us . I sing – ” wherefore are we doubting and fearing, and not to His word give heed. His promise for us had been written, ‘My God shall supply all my needs. My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in Glory.” In Joshua He tells us to be courageous and always meditate on His words. In the Psalms we read that He is our Shepherd and we shall not want. He makes us to lie in green pastures and leads us besides still waters. I remind myself that God will perfect that which concerneth me. So although my physical eyes cannot see the way, I do believe that My God, Jehovah Jireh will provide and that the waymaker that He is will come through. God Bless you and I hope anyone who reads my comment will be encouraged and have renewed hope in our sustainer the Lord Jesus Christ.

    2. Patricia on February 11th, 2011 5:54 pm

      Just one more to add to your list – anger.

      When we get angry, it takes time for that energy to dissipate. Nothing gets done. Things spiral out of control.

      That can happen when a spouse walks out in anger, a worker quits, a student drops out of school, etc.

    3. Coralie - Queensland, Australia on February 11th, 2011 6:40 pm

      Loved the blog and agree with Patricia that anger takes time to dissipate. It is an insidious emotion that usually presents itself when we feel we have “rights” and outworking of this is offence.. Laying down my hurts and rights at Jesus feet helps me to release my anger. Then I choose to forgive (even if I am right) and move on. Offence of the heart slowly releases and I can rejoice again …. and sleep soundly.

    4. Rebecca on February 12th, 2011 10:46 am

      Maxine, thanks for sharing your testimony with us. Your circumstances are not easy. I know your words will encourage many! God has so many promises that give us strength. In fact, I will be adding a bi-weekly post soon with just that, a simple Bible promise to encourage readers.

    5. Rebecca on February 12th, 2011 10:51 am

      Coralie and Patricia, thanks for sharing. Anger definitely zaps our spiritual, emotional, and physical energy as well–and affects those around us. We could probably list a dozen or more “habits”–destructive behaviors that drain us. I only listed four. Anger is certainly one as well, if we hold on to that emotion and don’t allow God to deal with it.

    6. Michelle Blazey Faisal on February 14th, 2011 4:38 am

      My name is Michelle, and I thank God in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord for bringing me back to his family again., I once was lost but now am found by the Greatest King JESUS CHRIST my LORD!
      I am from a Christian Family who believes in Jesus Christ as everything, I married a Muslim and i have three kids two boys and a girl, initially my kids had no religion but today according to their own request they were baptized as Born Again Christians, the name of our church that we go to is “The Logos”. I always knew that I belonged to the Lord from the day I came to know the difference between right and wrong, because i just did not feel comfortable going to a Catholic Church i used to feel like i was an alienated or something and i used to wonder why and then when i was 9 years old i started going to Bible Class which was run by these Penticostals who had come from the US, they had come to encourage young Christians about Jesus Christ, and i was one of those children and after their mission they left and that i when i came to know Jesus as a real person, through my spiritual father Mr. Glen Potter and from then onwards i have put my faith and trust in my Lord Jesus Christ, a few years ago i got involved badly in alcohol and i really mean drink, we dont get alcohol which is refined out here in Pakistan we get the one which has excess of tincture mixed in it, the alcohol for me became a stronghold upon me and although inwardly i knew that this was not me, i had to live with it and all the other lies of Satan, my marriage was a mess, i was on the verge of a divorce and my two kids (at the time, a girl aged 3 and a boy aged 5, were left in Hands and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ and my mother whom i love so very much, it was through my mother that The Holy Spirit spoke out and some how Jesus turned everything around all those things that i was afraid of just turned into mud puddle which fall down, i have never known any other greater love than the love of our Lord Jesus Christ whose love and sacrifice became a reality to me and i felt every inch of pain and emotion when Jesus went on that cross for me, which broke me down into pieces and i could not believe that HE loved me so much that he waited all these years for me to come back to Him, WOW! “How great is our GOD Blessed be the name of Our LORD and all will see how great how great is your love”, I received salvation that particular day because i felt free so free like a bird in the sky who had no worries, then slowly i started attending church and there were alot of people who were praying for me without me knowing it and one day i just felt like a whole lot of people were praying for me and i witnessed the Power and Effect taking place inside of me, I started having dreams which i did not know the meaning of and then i left my job and stayed at home for 2 years because i just knew i had to seek my Lord My God and it did not bother me one bit whether me or my kids had to eat or not but i stayed at home while my husband continued to keep losing every job that he ever got, and being a Muslim he thinks that he is a muslim but the Lord is bringing my husband home to HIMSELF as well, my mum also brought my sister-in-law to the LORD (she is Muslim as well) and now since my parents and family have migrated to Canada i am left alone with a brother who is also a Born Again and given his life to Jesus, i thought (was deceived) that i was all alone and i used to cry for my parents because me and my mum are one spirit in the Lord, but Jesus gave me the strength to carry on, the faith to keep me focused, and patience to endure, but still being a woman, being a daughter, a sister, a mother, a wife, there always temptations which need to be overcome, like although I have a church to go to but i dont have the finances to attend and i am praying about it and i know that i will one day go to church regularly and now the one that thing that i am praying about is to give my first time to JESUS in prayer although it seems that i will never be able to get up at 6 am to give the best part of my time to HIM but I know somewhere deep down within that one day i will, there are still ways that satan tries to get to me especially financially but in the name of JESUS CHRIST our LORD i will do my LORDS WILL, I have been guided by the HOLY SPIRIT with Insights, with wisdom and so many more fruits to mention that i have found and believe me its the most sweet essence of all, and most of all I live today because of JESUS CHRIST. Dont ever give up on Jesus! that’s the motto now and i teach and pray with my three children every night so that they may become stronger in HIM and they may know their own strengths through HIM.

      Rebecca, please pray for us as we are living in a country where you cannot afford to convert into any other religion especially from Muslim to Christian, they stone you or you are murdered, please pray for me and my family!

      May God Bless you and your team for this effort !

      Kind Regards

    7. Rebecca on February 14th, 2011 3:53 pm

      Michelle, Than you for sharing your amazing testimony with us. Be assured you and your family will be kept in our prayers!

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