creature of

January 19, 2015

shackles

It has been said that human beings are creatures of habit.  Many of our practices become automatic: we are sometimes unaware that we do certain things or that we do them in a specific way.

 

The designation “Bad Habits” covers a wide range of negative behavior and could be defined as anything which inhibits Christian growth or offends others. We may be speaking of the so-called sins of the spirit, such as envy, jealousy, malice, gossip, lying, criticism of others, selfishness, impatience, quarreling, procrastination, etc. Or, we may be speaking of compulsive behavior: eating, drinking, spending, reading and viewing of pornography, excessive working, fantasizing and evil thoughts, masturbation, swearing, etc.

 

The subject of bad habits assumes special importance in the light of the scriptural demand that Christians “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4, KJV). As we surrender to the Lord, asking Him to search our hearts and reveal all that is displeasing to Him (Psalm 139:23,24), we will begin to see many ugly things that need to be dealt with. The most important things to remember in regard to bad habits are that they displease God, and with His help they can be broken and replaced with alternatives.

None of us is immune to change.

The Gospel specializes in change (2 Corinthians 5:17). We know that God can work in our lives in order to bring our conduct into line with what pleases Him. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV).

 

The Apostle Paul speaks of the “put-off,” “put-on” principle. “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off  your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24, NIV). This can be thought of in terms of taking off an unclean garment and exchanging it for a clean one. Paul illustrates this principle as follows: “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully. . .” (Ephesians 4:25, NIV); and, “He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work . ..” (Ephesians 4:28, NIV).

 

 

Memorized Scripture can be a great help in practicing the “put off”, “put on” principle of exchange. For the Christian afflicted with the inclination for swearing or bad language, a scripture such as the following would be helpful: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29, KJV). At other times, one might use a word of praise, such as those found in Psalm 34 or 103.

 

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and He will come near to you.”    James 4:7,8, NIV

 

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

            Psalm 119:11, KJV

“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.  Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”     Romans 6:11-14, NIV

 

The examined life is the only life, ignorance is never an acceptable excuse. Even though we may fail more than we like, never give up, our sins are forgiven and God’s unfailing love encourages us to keep returning to him for forgiveness and help

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com


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