Habits. We all have them, don’t we? This past week, I found myself going to throw away things in the trash can that has been at the end of the kitchen island, only to find that the trash can was not there anymore. I caught myself even throwing stuff in that direction, only to hear it hit the floor, because the trash can was NOT there. I got so used to it being there, that my brain had been trained to automatically default to that location to throw my trash away. The trash can didn’t belong there though. 😉 I thought about how often this happens in so many areas of our physical lives, but especially in our spiritual lives.
The word “habit” is defined as “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up; a recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition; an established disposition of the mind or character” (dictionary.com). As with my situation with the trash can, how true the old proverb is that says, “habits are first cobwebs, then cables.”
With just the simple trash can issue, such made me realize how easy it was to be MASTERED by my mind simply going to that area to throw my trash away. It has been a week and a half, and I am still having difficulty to break this habit that has formed. On the flip side, I have discovered that there are some habits that have proven very difficult to acquire. This got me to thinking about what “cobwebs” have become “cables” in my life, those that are MUCH more significant than just the trash can situation.
Cables can be good if it is in the areas of GOOD HABITS, such as Bible study (2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16,17), prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17), assembling together (Hebrews 10:23-25), encouraging one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11), being zealous of good works (Titus 2:11-14) and the such like. However, cables can be bad if it’s in the areas of BAD HABITS, which would be the very opposite of the aforementioned list.
May I remind you of the saying that goes: “Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” Any habit, whether good or bad begins with “thought.” That’s why we have to be so careful and watchful about what “thoughts” we are having, what we allow to have access to our heart. Remember what the Proverb writer said: “For as one thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7). Our day to day practices over time, even in small increments, will form one thread after another intertwining to become a strong cable that will be a strong unbreakable connection to the Lord and our fellow brethren that will assist us physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally to increase and abound all the more (cf. 1 Thessalonians 3:12,13) so as to be “rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:7); Or it will be a strong binding master that will ultimately break us. Such goes to the reason why Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:12: “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” Paul was well aware of the great possibility for one to be “mastered” by their own selfish thoughts/desires, which would draw one away from the Lord.
Take a moment to examine what your habits are. You will be amazed at how some habits that you have come to practice were just as easy as getting into a comfortable bed; very easy to get into, but difficult to get out. To form good habits, it will take willful, conscious thoughts (cf. Phil. 4:8) exerted towards that which is good and acceptable in the sight of the Lord (cf. Rom. 12:1,2). I hope that we will form those thoughts which will lead to a “walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (cf. Col. 1:10). May such be our “regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.”
Something to think about. Have a great week! – DJ 🙂