Thursday, September 20, 2018
Removing and Replacing My Old Habits
In review of 1 Timothy 4:15 it says, “Practice these things. Devote your life to them so that everyone can see your progress (GW).
Today’s verse comes from 1 Timothy 4:6-16 where Paul is teaching Timothy how to be a good servant in Christ. In particular verse 15 says to remember these things and think about them, so everyone can see how well you are doing.
I’m reminded that highly skilled and talented athletes lose their abilities if their muscles aren't toned by constant use. Likewise, I'll lose my spiritual gifts if I don't put them into practice. My gifts and talents are improved by use or exercise, but failing to use them will cause them to just waste away from lack of practice and nourishment. I need to consider the gifts and abilities has God given me and whether I using them regularly to serve God and others.
While I was given a brand-new nature at the moment of my conversion (devoting myself to following Christ), I still have old habits, patterns, and practices that need to be removed and replaced.
Let go of the fears that keep me from growing. While the truth will set me free, it will often make me miserable first. The fear of what I might discover if I honestly face my character defects can keep us living in the prison of denial. Only as God is allowed to shine the light of his truth on my faults, failures, and hang-ups can I begin to work on them. This is why I cannot grow without a humble, teachable attitude.
I should not base my identity around any of my “defects.” Don’t say, “It’s just like me to be . . .” or “It’s just the way I am.” The unconscious worry is that if I let go of my habit, my hurt, or my hang-up, who will I be? This fear can definitely slow down my growth.
Good habits take time to develop. My character is the sum total of my habits. I can’t claim to have integrity unless it is my habit to always be honest. A spouse who is faithful most of the time is not faithful at all! My habits define my character.
Remember: I need to practice every day the habits that will make me more like Christ.
“Devote your life to them so that everyone can see your progress” (1 Timothy 4:15 GW).
Be diligent; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your example and progress.
What this means to me:
Diligently gives these things my attention and put them into practice, so that I can be an example that others will notice.
In summary, If I don't put my skills or gifts into practice I'll lose them. No matter what, I still have old habits, patterns, and practices that need to be removed and replaced. Good habits take time to develop. My character will be the sum total of all of my habits. And those define my character. I need to practice every day the habits that will make me more like Christ.
Today’s verse is a reminder of the high values I want to live my life by; Integrity, humility, generosity and purpose. I need to be humble enough to recognize my shortcomings and willingness to adjust my habits. My habits speak greatly to my integrity, as the sum total of my habits make up my character. Thank you Father for these words from you today and how they speak into my life.
I pray this morning that Father, you will help me be conscience of old bad habits and to repent (turn-around) from them, adopting the character of Jesus and allowing my life to be used by you. I also ask you today for continued wisdom and guidance to handle the work in front of my. Help me to be a leader that makes a difference and others want to follow. Help me fill my interactions with grace and love. These things I pray in your Son Jesus name, Amen!
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