We’ve recognized our bad habits, and why they are bad.
We’ve sought forgiveness for falling prey to them.
As I mentioned yesterday, there isn’t one cure-all. What works for me may not work for my husband. What works for my friend may not work for me. So how will this brief blog series be of any benefit to you?
We’re turning to Scripture. It’s always helpful!
Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV). “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
In the previous chapter, the author of this letter to the Hebrews expounds upon faith. It is the assurance of things hoped for, the certainty of things not seen. It is the thing given to the fathers and mothers of the Hebrew people which allowed them to receive the promises of God. The author then goes on to list the people throughout their history whose faith followed God and were witnesses of and instruments of His glory and providence. Abel, Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Jacob, Joseph, Moses — all whose accounts are listed. And the author says he has not enough time to expound upon the faith-filled lives of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. But these people, these are the “great cloud of witnesses” mentioned in the beginning of our passage.
God’s working in these people, in people throughout time, show us His power to overcome our sinfulness, our reticence, our bad habits. Not that we should feel laid-down upon seeing the faith of these people.
If only I had faith like them, I would not have these habits. No! God’s grace is sufficient for us. He works in and through us despite our faults. Each of the people listed above were sinners, as are we. We rejoice in God’s work in their lives and trust that He is also working in ours.
Upon reading “sin which clings so closely”, I was struck by the truth of it. What can cling more closely than the things we do without thinking? My habits of frustration turning quickly to annoyance and anger, of feigned apathy when I feel overwhelmed, all the other ones which drag me down — they cling closely. This past week or two, as I’ve been more conscious of them, I’ve felt some of their hold on me beginning to weaken. Some of the layers in which they’ve cloaked me have begun to peel off.
And my running is getting better, my footing more secure, my feet swifter. (Not literally; sleeping too late to jog is the next bad habit on my list!) But my heart quickens to the knowledge that God is working to rid me of these burdens, that His Spirit is working on my heart to root out those bad habits, those sins which cling so closely. And I’m breathing freer.
I pray that you are, too.
If you would like to comment or message privately, or request prayer, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.