“The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous:” Psalm 146:8
Nearly a year ago we had to move so I applied for another house. We were told to come and have a look and see if we liked it.
When we came to have a look at it for the first time I noticed quite a bit of damage from former tenants, (as well as some of the good things, like the coloured feature walls). One of the former tenants carved their name into the cupboard doors, some have carved their name into the poles out the front, and the door frame, there are many patched up holes in doors and walls, there are gouges out of the kitchen bench and more.
Despite all of this we moved in. I thought that over time I could fix some of the damage up with a bit of paint, and that we would enjoy the coloured walls. (We are renting, so I’m not going to fix everything.)
I haven’t gotten around to painting over the names carved into the walls because 99% of the time I don’t even notice them now (and rarely do we notice the coloured walls anymore). What stuck out to me like a glaring neon light at first doesn’t even barely raise an eyebrow now because I am so used to it all.
I guess I don’t even notice now because there are so many other things I see, and so many other things on my mind. What was once a huge issue now hardly even rates a mention. Every now and then I’ll catch a glimpse and be reminded, but usually I’m just going around the house doing other things and don’t pay any attention.
I look at this two ways. I can see how this can relate to sin, and also reading the Bible.
In the context of sin, I think that sometimes we can be ‘in’ a sin for so long that we don’t even realise we are doing it anymore. It has kind of become second nature to us.
Take smoking, or foul language for instance. Smoking is something that is done out of habit. Habits are something we do without even having to think about them. It’s the same as swearing. Sometimes we say certain words without even batting an eyelid because we have done it so often that we don’t even realise we are doing it. This could also be said for certain thought patterns, ways we react to certain situations, the people we hang around, the traditions we keep etc etc.
Occasionally the Lord might try to give us a ‘check in our spirit’ to try to get us to repent, but we just brush that off as a minor annoyance of a feeling, because we are so used to it that we don’t even realise that the Lord is trying to convict us. We, in our human selves, don’t quite see what all the fuss is about because our habits are something we do without even acknowledging them, so it’s hard to stop doing something we don’t realise we are doing.
Another way I see this is in relation to reading the Bible. Sometimes we can read verses over and over and they kind of become, for want of a better word that I can’t think of right now, invisible. They are just there and have no particular meaning because we have read them so many times. It may be because we don’t understand them, it doesn’t mean anything to us at that particular time, or we have our minds elsewhere, or even other reasons. So we just glance over them and don’t take any notice of them. Sometimes reading the Bible becomes a habit in the wrong sense of the word. Sometimes we read it just so we can say we’ve read it, or help us to feel better about ourselves that we are reading it.
The best thing about all this is that we can change these negative habits, with the help of the Lord. He is wanting to help us to change into His likeness, but we can’t do it ourselves. I know, I’ve tried and failed so many times. lol
I’ve found that the last few months the Lord has been working on my speaking. I can be very sarcastic when dealing with people, especially my children. Not in a really bad way, but it’s enough for me to have to change how I speak. I have been able to hold my tongue at times when something prompts me and alerts me to the fact that what I’m about to say isn’t going to help the situation. I know it’s the Lord helping me, because if I were to be doing it in my own strength, it just wouldn’t happen.
So next time you get a bit of an uncomfortable ‘feeling’ about a habit of yours, just stop and ask the Lord if He’s trying to tell you something..
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.” Proverbs 28:13,14