Good habits aren’t natural

I’ve been sick since February 15. That’s coming up on a whole month. One of the hallmarks of this particular bug is that it just saps every ounce of strength, and all you feel like doing is sitting on your backside.

That’s where I’ve been since February 15. But something wonderful started happening in the last few days. I started feeling better. Sure, I’m still coughing like a fiend, but I feel fine. I feel like getting up and doing stuff. But it’s so much easier just to stay put.

I’ve gotten in the habit of doing nothing. It was good to do nothing when I was sick, but I’m not that sick anymore. I’m not 100% yet, but I’m not so sick that I can just lay around all day long.

Do nothing for one month, and what happens to you? You get used to doing nothing. Isn’t it funny that good habits aren’t natural? Bad habits are. You don’t even have to try to develop a bad habit. Bad habits happen on their own. It’s the good habits you have to build.

habitsToday’s verses are Ephesians 4:21-24.

Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

When we choose to follow Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside us. The Holy Spirit gives us access to God and gives us the strength to make the same choices Jesus did.

Our human nature is broken. It will always lead us to make choices that will eventually hurt us. But with the Holy Spirit’s help, we don’t have to follow our human nature any more.

The thing about following Jesus is that it’s all or nothing. The language in this verse isn’t lukewarm. This verse tells us to “throw off” our old life. That’s not neutral. Don’t creep away from it. Don’t take it down a piece at a time. No, throw it off. Toss it out. Get rid of it wholly and immediately.

If you have developed bad habits in your life, change the way you look at them. Now, if you’re sick and need to rest, that’s one thing. But you know when you’re better. And when you’re better, you need to get back on your feet again.

Bad habits are easy to learn. They’re dangerous, because the more bad habits you have, the less good you’ll accomplish.

So identify them, and once you’ve done that, throw them out. Don’t be kind about it. Don’t think twice. Kick those bad habits to the curb, and then you can start rebuilding your good habits again.