Good and Bad Habits

Sow an act and you reap a habit.
Sow a habit and you reap a character.
Sow a character and you reap a destiny.
-Samuel Smiles

We must be careful about our thoughts and actions for they may become habits. A habit is something that one does continually, often without thinking about it. Some habits are good. Saying “please” and “thank you,” cleaning your room, and feeding your pets are examples of good habits. You can also develop bad habits such as using bad language, lying, not helping your parents keep the house clean, or acting up in church services.

Habits start slowly. We might use a bad word once or tell a lie when we are in trouble. When we do something wrong, we need to repent. When we repent, we decide that we will try our hardest not to do the wrong thing again. We might slip and do the wrong thing again, but we will try hard not to do it. We should also tell God we are sorry and ask for His help in doing what is right.

If we do not repent or change, we will probably do the bad things again and again. Soon, we will not even think about whether we should or should not do it; it will become habit. Once we have developed a habit, it is hard to stop it. We can stop it but it will take a lot of effort.

Of course, we can develop good habits by doing good things again and again. If you try hard to use good manners, talk politely, and act properly, those good behaviors will become good habits. If you make your bed and clean your room every day out of habit, you will not have to remind yourself to do these chores.

Work hard to develop many good habits so your life will be filled with good thoughts and actions. Always do the things that will make you more like Jesus and you will live a healthier, happier, and more peaceful life.

Let It Run Through

Author Unknown

In a discussion with his father, the son said, “Dad, I read the Bible often and memorize verses in Sunday School, but they never stick with me. I can’t remember them more than a few weeks. So I guess it doesn’t do me any good.”

The father responded, “Son, get that wicker wastepaper basket, take it to the kitchen, and fill it up with water.”  The boy obeyed, but he discovered that the water ran out as fast as it ran in. Finally, he took the basket back to his father.

“I can’t get any water to stay in,” said the boy. “You’re right,” said the Father. The basket cannot hold all the water, and your mind cannot hold all the verses you have memorized. But notice how much cleaner and fresher and brighter the basket is now that you’ve run the water through. That is what happens when all the verses of the Bible go through your mind. They may not stay there long enough for you to remember, but the more they pass through your memory, the cleaner, the brighter, the fresher your mind will be.

Wisdom Will Keep You Safe!

Sometimes it seems hard to know the right thing to do. The Bible is like a light in the darkness to show us how to live. But in order for the Bible to help us, we need to study it.

As we study the Bible we gain knowledge about God and how He wants us to live. Wisdom is the ability to use that knowledge to make good decisions.

For example, our knowledge of the Bible teaches us that God’s word is truth (John 17:17) and that we are to speak truth to one another (Ephesians 4:25). So when a situation comes up where you feel that a lie might get you out of trouble, wisdom teaches you that a lie is not a proper choice and that God will not be pleased when you are dishonest.

The more you know about the Bible, the better you will be able to know what you should do. God’s commands will make us better people. Some people do not like God’s laws because they think God is trying to take away their fun. However, the things that many people think are “fun,” like using drugs, getting drunk, and looking at bad pictures, are things that will hurt us and will make us sorry that we did them.

I worked with a man who, when he was younger, used a lot of drugs and got drunk with his friends. He did this for many years. He thought he was living free and having fun. He told me that he would give anything to live his life over again without the drugs and the alcohol. Not only did he hurt his body, he was ashamed of his life. He also wasted a lot of money on sin.

Proverbs 5:9 tells us that sin will harm our bodies and waste our years. Though some people might think you are acting strange by doing what is right (1 Peter 4:4), they will eventually realize that you made the right choice in serving God and following His laws. Of course, God will judge us all for how we have lived. Follow God’s commands for the best life on earth and eternal joy in heaven.

Heroes

Who are your heroes?  We all probably have different heroes, people whom we respect for great things they have done or have made an important difference in our lives. For example, our parents should be heroes for all they do and their love for us.

People interested in sports often have heroes in their favorite sport who perform at a level higher than everyone else. Basketball players may like Michael Jordan because of his great abilities. People interested in music may respect a person who writes or performs music in a way they would like to do one day.

Heroes are examples for us to follow and teachers from whom we can learn. There is nothing wrong with wanting to play sports or perform music like our heroes, but we must realize that they may do things in their personal lives that are not good.

We should have spiritual heroes to look up to. I think of the apostle Paul’s great courage in teaching the gospel to people that sometimes hurt him. He was in many dangers while teaching the gospel but he continued to preach, 2 Corinthians 11:22-28.

We can also think of Daniel and his friends who were young people who worshipped God though they were in a land where people worshipped idols and sometimes wanted them to disobey God. I also think of David’s thirty mighty men in 2 Samuel 23:8-29. One man killed eight hundred men of the enemy’s army at one time. Another kept fighting the mighty Philistines alone when other people in the army ran away. Another man went down against a mighty Egyptian and took the Egyptian’s spear from him and killed him. These men defended God’s people because they trusted in God.

Of course, our greatest hero should be Jesus who loved us and died for us. Read about His life and do what he did.

How The Mighty Have Fallen

When King Saul and Jonathan, his son, were killed in a battle with the Philistines, David sang a sad song.  In 1 Samuel 1:19, he said:“how the mighty have fallen.”  King Saul, who was one time so powerful and was the king of God’s  people, lay dead on the battlefield.

David had many reasons to be sad about Saul’s death.  When God told Samuel to make Saul king, Saul was very humble.  He obeyed God and it seemed he would be a good king.  However, when God told Saul to attack and kill all of the Amelekites, a wicked nation that did not obey God and were mean to God’s people, Saul did not keep the commands completely.  He did most of what God said to do, but he did not do everything.  So Samuel told Saul that God was going to make someone else king.

When King Saul realized that David would be king, he became jealous.  The king tried to kill David several times so David had to run away from his home and his friends.  King Saul also quit serving God.  Even though he did this, David was sad when Saul died because he was the king of Israel and at one time obeyed God.

Sometimes Christians that we admire quit serving God or don’t serve Him the way that they should.  It may be a parent, a preacher, your Bible class teacher, or someone else you admire.  It is sad when they quit serving God but we must continue to be faithful to God even when they quit.

We need to encourage that person to do what is right and pray for them to change.  David tried to teach King Saul but Saul would not listen.  However, some people will listen and will return to the Lord.  Even if they don’t change, you keep serving God.  Don’t give up!

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