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HABBITS


The word "habit" is described as “an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary. In other words, a habit is a “learned behavior.” Being humans, we are creatures of habits, becoming a way of life in many cases. As everyone is aware, there are good habits and there are bad habits.

Obviously, it is not possible to list every habit here. However, here is a partial list. Firstly, good habits include, prayer, reading/studying God’s Word, attending and supporting the church, assisting others, forgiving others, kindness, thoughtfulness, etc. Secondly, bad habits include, selfishness, lying, cheating, stealing, complaining, gossiping, smoking, drinking, drugs, gambling, etc.

Interestingly, an anonymous author wrote the following poem titled, “The Habit Poem.” Although somewhat amusing, yet it provides “food for thought” concerning our habits. Here it goes:

I am your constant companion.

I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.

I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.

I am completely at your command.

Half the things you do you might just as well turn over to me, and I will be able to do them quickly, correctly.

I am easily managed - you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done, and after a few lessons I will do it automatically.

I am the servant of all great people; and alas, of all failures as well. Those who are failures, I have made failures.

I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a human being.

You may run me for a profit or turn me for ruin - it makes no difference to me.

Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet.

Be easy with me and I will destroy you.

Who am I? I am habit.

(Anonymous author).

The Bible does not specifically mention the word ‘habit’ but various texts clearly show a direct connection between behavior and habits. For instance, the Apostle Peter writes, “For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved” (2 Peter 2:19). This indicates that a person who is overcome by sinful practices (habits) is a slave of such habits. So-called bad habits require time and determination to change and cannot be accomplished by one’s own strength. We must seek God’s intervention and guidance. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.“ And God’s help is always available and profitable.

Sadly, bad habits have had disastrous and some times costly effects on people who refuse to change their ways. Think of the smoking habit or the drinking habit. These habits eventually lead to sickness and death. Doing drugs and stealing lead to incarceration and even death. No matter how we regard it, these habits are sinful and reprehensible to God Almighty.

The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory” (Romans 3:23). Even those with good habits, God being just and righteous must judge sin. Hence, “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). God loves you but He hates your sin. When you truly place your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior, you receive forgiveness of sins and the Gift of “eternal life.” God will then help you to overcome bad sinful habits.

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