What do our habits have to do with all this?
by Timothy Whitt
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The world and secular psychology says that out of habit we are who we are and nothing is going to change that. They do not take into consideration what happens when you accept Christ as you Savior and in your heart have a deep desire to develop a new habitude towards life and your place in this world. Oh yeah I know habitude is not a word but it sounds good.
I want you to take the time to go look in the mirror. What do you see? A guy who looks a little older than he used too? A guy who could use a shave? Do you see a guy with a little less hair than before? A guy…. well you get the picture. When we look in the mirror we are always looking at the physical appearance to describe who we are, but remember this when God looks in our mirror He sees our hearts for who we are. In secular psychology they always tell you that what you are inside is the basis for your actions and habits.
Now take a good long look into God’s mirror and see yourself for whom you really are. You see the first habit that an effective man of God gets into is one of self-examination and a realization that each day you need to bow down and confess before the Lord that you need His help to get through the day.
This is what the Bible refers to as humbling yourself before the Lord. Humbleness is one of the hardest habits to get into for anyone, especially men and most definitely men in a group. No man wants to acknowledge weakness and humble himself before other men.
Jesus met a young man one day
As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.’"
He said to him, "Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth."
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."
When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the realm of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the realm of God."
They were greatly astounded and said to one another, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible."
Peter began to say to him, "Look, we have left everything and followed you." Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundred-fold now in this age -- houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields with persecutions -- and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first."
On the surface this verse may not seem like it has anything to do with humility, but if you look closely you will see that it is dripping with the idea of having a humble heart.
Take the time answer the questions then examine your heart in light of what you have learned
How does the young man start the conversation?
Do you or I do anything to inherit the Kingdom of God?
Why does Jesus answer by saying "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone" and what trait does this show about Jesus?
It is interesting to note that the young man addresses Jesus in the first person with the word I. This seems to show that he is someone who is used to getting things done on his own. He also does not seem to realize his own personal inward needs. He is unaware of what is truly needed to inherit salvation. Not anything we have done but what Jesus would do.
Jesus continues the conversation by talking to the young man about keeping the commandment. He is trying to get the young man to understand his inward desires are far different then outward appearance. In short your heart is not humbled before God. To stress this point Jesus tells the man to sell everything and come follow Him. The man leaves dejected. He cannot let go of the pride he has at obtaining and holding onto his possessions.
The rich man wanted the best of worlds, his pride and eternal life. I am not saying pride is a truly bad thing it all comes down to which direction the pride is directed inwardly towards you or outwardly towards God.
Notice the reaction of the disciples and Jesus statement in verse "how hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the Kingdom of God” I think here Jesus is not only talking about the physical implications of wealth and how for some people it is all consuming to make money, I also think Jesus is talking about those who will not humble their hearts to the truth but keep their pride inside them like a trophy waiting to let it bubble out to show other people how great they are.
This is why humility is the first habit need to develop, until we are humble we will not see the world as Jesus sees the world, hurting and in need of true love.
Part of humility is to see our need to be part of a TEAM of people who look after each other and are accountable to each other.
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