I once heard J.I. Packer say, “The Holy Spirit works through habits of holiness.” I don’t remember the context, but I was so impressed with the wording that I wrote it on the opening page of Romans in my New Testament, which was all I had to write on at the time.
How right he was!
And the question is whether or not your habits—and don’t kid anyone, you live a large share of your life by habit—are holy or not.
What a great self-examining question that is!
You see the problem with habits is that they are often the CAUSE of our difficulties with God and others.
- Comfortable-like old shoes; they fit us well.
- Automatic-you don’t have to tell yourself, “do It,” you just do it.
- Unconscious-you begin to do something before you realize it.
- Skillful-The plausible lie is out of your mouth before you know it.
- Embedded-difficult to break.
Indeed, so difficult that by God’s grace they must be replaced with their biblical alternatives. That is, with “Habits of holiness”—WHAT A WONDERFUL PHRASE!