"Besides, they get into the
1 Timothy 5:13a
There's a new dog in the house! Before you
get too excited, it's temporary. I'm dog-sitting. A
friend has gone out of town, and left in my care her special friend,
The reactions of the cats were interesting.
Squawker's face said it all: "You've got to be kidding me--we're
doing this AGAIN?" Sneezy, on the other hand, seemed downright
delighted to have a dog in the house. He immediately chirped and
walked up to Brandy--"Hi! Welcome to the house! Let me sniff you!"
Brandy, unfortunately, is not used to cats--and didn't quite
appreciate this strange creature coming up to her.
Even more telling, though, has been my
reaction. When Kasey and Annie were part of our home, I would wake up
in the morning and first thing set out to take them on a walk. When I
had been away, I would rush home to see them. That first morning with
Brandy, however, was a little different; I'd gotten used to sleeping
in, and found it hard to excitedly leash up the dog and rush outside
(fortunately, Brandy was far more patient than Kasey and Annie ever
were!). I also started a new job while she was here, and that first
day after work I was physically exhausted--and cringed
at the thought of walking up three flights of stairs, getting Brandy,
walking down three flights of stairs, taking her for a
walk, and then walking back up three flights of stairs.
But it had to be done--she'd been in the room all day long! To put
things bluntly: I've gotten out of the habit of having
Yet I've noticed my spiritual disciplines
are much the same. It's easy to get out of the habit of
praying, or attending worship. In fact, Hebrews 10:25a speaks to this
very matter: "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are
in the habit of doing
" A music teacher once said,
"Practice doesn't make perfect--it makes
permanent." Sometimes we get into bad habits; and the
more we do them, the easier (and more permanent) they become. Found
yourself using some profanity lately? If you don't stop yourself now,
it will keep on coming (and you might even stop noticing it).
Sometimes we fall out of good habits; and the less we do them, the
easier (and more permanent) their absence becomes. Did you use to
attend church regularly, but now you've missed the last few Sundays?
Watch out--you're falling out of a good habit. Sometimes we don't do
what God desires--we've either gotten out of the habit, or we never
had the habit to begin with.
In Matthew 7:24 - 27, Jesus likens this to
building a house:
"Therefore everyone who
hears these words of Mine and puts them into
practice is like a wise man who built his house on the
rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and
beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its
foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of Mine
and does not put them into practice is like a
foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the
streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and
it fell with a great crash."
The Apostle Paul says something similar in
Philippians 4:8 - 9--"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever
is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or
praiseworthy--think about such things [or--get into those
habits!]. Whatever you have learned or received or heard
from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the
God of peace will be with you."
Develop some good practices. Obey the Lord;
love people. And once you've developed those practices, don't fall
out of the habit. Some habits are good to keep.
If you have anything of interest to add to
or you have general comments, questions, or ideas,
we welcome your response.
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