Summary: Bad habits can really bring us down. We need to replace them with good habits. This sermon encourages others to do so.
The Bible says we are to confess our sins to one another. Therefore, I am going to confess a sin of mine to you this morning. In fact, it has become a habit. I feel comfortable confessing a habit of mine to you because I suspect that all of us are subject to this habit. The habit of mine is called lying.
I’m not talking about whoppers and dozzies. I am talking about that little white lie we tell to get out of doing something or covering up for something. Often we tell them to keep from hurting someone.
Two students were taking organic chemistry at the university. Having done well in their work and labs, they were both going into the final exam with solid A's.
So far, so good. Trouble was, they were so confident that they decided to party the night before the big test. It was a great night; one thing led to another, and they ended up sleeping late the following morning. They missed the exam! Disasterville!
They went to see the professor immediately. One of them began to lie that they had been visiting a sick, out-of-town friend the night before. On the way home, they had a flat tire. With no spare tire and no car jack, they were stranded. They could only manage to hitch a lift back to town midmorning, which is why they missed the test. They were really sorry to have missed the exam, and wondered whether they might be able to take a makeup exam. The professor asked the other student if this story was correct. He assured him it was.
The professor thought about it for a moment and decided that he would give them a make-up oral exam. Sitting them across the room from each other with their backs to each other, he began.
“Question number 1 worth 5 points. ‘What is the compound H2O?’ Of course, the answer is water.
He continued. “Question number 2 worth 95 points. ‘Which tire went flat?’”
We have found a freedom in Jesus that helps alleviate our guilt when we sin. It is true that we are not perfected. It is true that our sins are forgiven and forgotten when we repent. But we must guard against sins becoming so embedded in us that they become habits.
This is not a new problem. Paul was dealing with a bad habit in the church in Corinth that by all indications dealt with sexual immorality becoming habitual.
1 Corinthians 6:12 “You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’ —but not everything is good for you. And even though ‘I am allowed to do anything,’ I must not become a slave to anything.”
There are good habits and there are bad habits. God has given us the freedom to develop whatever kind of habit we desire. But not every habit is good for us. And whether it is a good or bad habit, we must not allow it to master us.
We are a creature of habit. We usually begin our mornings with the same routine and end our days likewise. We usually eat at a certain time. Go to work at a certain time. Buy groceries on a certain day. We enjoy our habits.
Our habits can form us though. And when they are bad habits, they can be detrimental to our viewpoint of ourselves.
“A man and his wife were shopping at a mall and a shapely young woman in a short, form-fitting dress strolled by. The man’s eyes followed her. Without looking up from the item she was examining, his wife asked, ‘Was it worth the trouble you’re in?’”
When we have bad habits we must ask ourselves “Is it worth the trouble?”
I was studying the top bad habits that plague people in our society. Some of those bad habits I am guilty of committing. I would venture that you are also.
Overspending. It’s easy to charge things with the intent to pay later. Some things are necessary to pay that way; for instance buying a house or a car. But we mostly use credit to satisfy our need for instant gratification. And we soon find ourselves in financial trouble. Or we get an unexpected check in the mail or a bonus from work, and rather than bank it for emergencies, we spend it on items that are not necessities but rather pleasure.
We soon find ourselves worried about our finances. We live from week to week, worried that something will happen that will cause us financial ruin. And in the midst of these worries, we are unhappy because we were not able to feed our latest desire for a possession.
Addiction to tobacco and alcohol. To keep it simple I just researched the cost of smoking. If a person smokes less than ½ pack a day, they spend an average of $1500 a year or $30,000 in twenty years. A person who smokes one pack a day will spend $5000 a year or $100,000 in 20 years. If I were still smoking, I would be spending $15,000 a year. I am glad I quit. Of course this does not take into account any medical bills caused by smoking.