The Pastor’s Desk

November 17th, 2017

You've undoubtedly heard the adage: "We're all creatures of habit."  What about you?  Are you experiencing joy from positive, quality, healthy habits that bring happiness to your life?  Or, are you trapped by vicious negative habits and destructive behaviors which rob you of a joy-filled life?  Do you want to change?  There is hope!  God has given you free moral agency, you have the power to choose to change. 

The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle once said: "Quality is not an act, it is a habit."  You might ask yourself the question: "Am I living a quality life?" If the answer is anything less than a resounding "yes," then you may need a habit overhaul.

Benjamin Franklin suggested the following: "Each year one vicious habit rooted out, in time might make the worst man good throughout."  So, where did all these bad habits come from anyway?  We have to go back to the beginning.

In the Garden of Eden, Eve accurately recounted the words of God to the serpent, Satan the Devil, saying: "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die'" (Genesis 3:2–3).  The lying serpent deceived the woman and convinced her that she would not die if she took of the forbidden tree's fruit (vv. 4–5).

But, as we know, Eve did just that, she chose to eat of the forbidden fruit.  Eve sinned.  She exercised her free moral agency, her human freedom to choose, albeit in a negative manner.  Unfortunately, Adam followed his wife's lead and humanity, under Satan's sway, has followed the path of habitual sin for nearly 6,000 years of human existence.

In our modern world, some habitually abuse alcohol; others are trapped in the sub-culture of drugs; others are chained to cancer-causing cigarettes; while still others dabble in the secret world of the occult, often unaware of its seductive entrapments.

There are, however, other bad habits that may not come to mind as easily as those just listed.  These may include: gossiping, telling "little white lies," cutting corners in business to save a buck, and putting yourself before others, to name just a few. To really seek to overcome these bad habits, these obstacles to a more joyous life, the key lies in a decision to want to change, that must come first!

Even with all human effort mustered against bad habits, mankind still could not become "good throughout" as Benjamin Franklin postulated. However, through fervent prayer to the Creator God, beseeching Him for His help, as well as an individual's positive exercising of free moral agency, the blessings which come through obedience to God can be experienced.

All bad habits, when fully understood, amount simply to the transgression of some aspect of God's Ten Commandments and His word as a whole.  We understand the concept of the law of gravity: that if you break it, it breaks you!  God's Law is no exception.  Breaking any one of the commandments bears a consequence.  Jesus Christ spoke to this point when He said: "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, [that person] shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:19).

If God is calling you to understanding, seek to break the habits that transgress the clear teaching of the Bible.  God created you with free moral agency.  This means that you have the power to choose to turn to God and start seeking the power to overcome that can only come from Him.

Mark Whynaucht