And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
If you follow our blog, you know I’ve been currently dealing with a difficult situation. Due to water damage, our condo is currently unlivable, so we have moved in with friends and are cooking at our daughter’s apartment. This has been going on for a few weeks now, and I’m starting to adjust. What seemed uncomfortable is becoming normal. I’ve started to habituate. Now in this instance, habituating is probably good. I’m developing a new routine and that allows me to feel better about my life and the things that are going on.
However, we all habituate in less healthy ways. Consider our television viewing habits, for instance. When I was a child in the 1950’s, the “I Love Lucy” show could not even portray a married couple sharing a double bed, or use the word “pregnant” (referring to a married woman). Now we routinely see unmarried couples unclothed and embracing on the screen, and the words we hear are certainly not fit for children (or sensitive adults) to hear. We’ve habituated to the world’s standards, and they are very, very low.
In the same way, when we’re around people who gossip, brag, complain or criticize others we can easily find ourselves falling into the same patterns and developing the same mindset.
We may be told so often to “look out for number one,” that we begin to find cheating on our taxes, running a red light or cutting corners at our job to be acceptable. After all, doesn’t everybody do it?
As soon as we begin to tolerate such behavior, we’ve habituated to sin. Pretty soon, we don’t even recognize it as sinful; and then we start believing that sin doesn’t really exist. People simply “make mistakes.” We say sorry (because we got caught) but inside, we don’t really repent. We become more and more self-centered, which is the very definition of sin.
The verse above warns us about this kind of faulty thinking. We need to be influenced by the WORD not the WORLD. We can’t avoid sin unless we avoid all people (including ourselves); but we can “transform our minds” by reading and meditating on God’s Word, praying, and attending worship So today I challenge you (and myself) to take a realistic look at our lives. What sins have become habitual? What can we do to “habituate” to Godly behavior instead?