PC-USA 2018-06-26 - Habits

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Our rescue dog, Shiloh, had a hard life before joining our family. It is believed that she was abandoned by her owners.

She had to scavenge for food, while she lived on the streets. She was also sick - infested with such a serious case of heartworms, that it took three treatments to eradicate them. Shiloh still has residual effects, leading to her diagnosis of Congestive Heart Failure. Naturally, because the first part of her life was so horrible, we want the rest of it to be a happy one. When she was picked up by the Humane Society©, she was so thin, that you could see her ribs. It is our goal that the rest of her life be a very happy one, and that she will never again feel the pangs of hunger. Because she was so deprived, it is hard to say no to her, when she asks for a treat. Being the intelligent and mischievous scamp that she is, she has learned how to be very persuasive. Once we were in the habit of giving her regular treats (albeit mostly low-fat ones), it has been hard to cut back, though we need to for now, for her good!

Likewise, we humans find that once we start doing something good or bad, it easily becomes an entrenched habit that is hard to break. The Apostle Paul has some things to say about that. In his letter to the Hebrews, Paul gives his readers both positive and negatives ideas about habits. He warns us away from the sinful habits, while encouraging spiritually mature ones.

Heb 10:24-25 (AMP) Let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds, 25 not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.

With a familiar quote, Jeremiah asks us a poignant question, and then answers it for us.

Jeremiah 13:23 (AMP) “Can the Ethiopian change his skin
Or the leopard his spots?
Then you also can do good
Who are accustomed to evil and even trained to do it.”

Exactly. Habits train us, and they can train us to waste the resources and time that God gives us, or they can train us to be more like our Lord, Christ. May we pray, often, for help in breaking our negative habits and cementing edifying ones.

[email jan] Janice P. Moser

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All verses are from the New American Standard Version (NASB) unless otherwise noted.


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