Changing Habits

Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness. – Proverbs 14:22

During the time of Lent many people think of giving something up. I think most of us would like to give up our bad habits. But saying one thing and doing the other is very difficult.

The most important aspect of the Word of God is that it leads us to Jesus, our Savior. Since we’re sinners who deserve to go to hell, we need to be reminded over and over again that we have a Savior who loves us dearly. He does! Thank God!

There are parts of the Bible where God wants to give us practical advice about this life. The Bible verse for today is one of those parts.

To what is God urging us? The words translated “plot” and “plan” are the same word in the original Hebrew language. The word often means “to cut into, to engrave.” To help us understand this, we should think in the terms of “habits,” life-approaches which are cut-deeply into us. Our habits have a huge influence on our life, and will have huge results.

So, for example, if you make it a habit to be dishonest, eventually your dishonesty will come back to haunt you. If you make it your habit to belittle others, eventually you will make a mess out of your relationships. The Bible verse says: “…those who plot evil go astray.”

There is another way. Choose God-pleasing habits! If you make it your habit to show concern for others, your relationship with others will generally improve! If you make it your habit to be thankful, your attitude will likely become more positive! If you make it your habit to see the good in all things, you will likely become more content! Plan for good! Make “good” happen! And what will you find? “Love and faithfulness.”

Will there be times when dishonest people get away with their lies and cause people pain? Yes. Will there be times when people who show concern will, in return, be scorned or mocked? Unfortunately, yes again.

The result is that it drives us right back to Jesus! Yes, it’s worth it to cultivate God-pleasing habits, but ultimately, my habits aren’t the issue, because no matter how hard I try, my habits will never be perfect. But Jesus practiced goodness perfectly; he cultivated perfect habits. Because of his perfect habits, he was able to win for me God’s love and God’s faithfulness.

And knowing that, I’ll want to cultivate God-pleasing habits!

Prayer: Dear Jesus, lead me to cultivate habits which bring glory to you and which spread your love to others. Amen.

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