Avoid habits that can trap you
Paul said, ‘Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims.’ If we’re serious about spiritual growth, we need to look for opportunities to say no to our wants in small areas. Then one day we’ll be able to say no when it really counts. Daniel started by saying no to eating the king’s food, and later was able to say no to bowing to the king’s idols. We need to focus in on the undisciplined areas of our lives; the ones we keep excusing, rationalising, and putting off dealing with. Paul measured his actions by this standard: ‘Is it beneficial? Does it have the potential to control me?’ (see 1 Corinthians 6:12). We have a ‘right’ to eat a tub of ice cream every night. It’s permissible – but it’s not ‘beneficial’, especially if we want to try to eat more healthily. We have a ‘right’ to spend our money as we please, but bad management of our money and buying things we can’t really afford leads to problems. We have a ‘right’ to look at whatever we want on TV or the internet, but exposure to wrong influences will inevitably weaken our characters, steal our self-respect, and trap us. Our character is the sum total of the choices we make each day. Every single decision matters and influences our character in some way, so let’s try to make good choices. If you want to start replacing bad habits with good ones, you should ask God for help and guidance – but the only person who can make it happen is you.
Get into the habit of making good choices. Before doing something, try developing a routine of quickly asking: Is it beneficial? Does it have the power to control me? Would God approve?
The UCB Word For You