Matthew 18: 1-3 – At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: I tell you the truth unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. NIV
Midge my 14 year old dachshund is stone deaf. She no longer hears anything whatsoever and even though she has been this way for a number of years I have this habit. I keep talking to her just like I did when she could hear me. I just don’t seem to be able to break this practice even though it is an attempt in futility as it literally falls upon deaf ears.
Habits are incredibly hard to break, especially, it seems, the bad ones which aren’t doing us any good.
The disciples had some bad habits when they came to Jesus. Some of them included envy, pride and selfishness. They all wanted to be number one: a negative habit which can definitely be hard but not impossible to overcome if we heed the words of Christ.
Jesus tells us that the answer to overcoming this practice is to change, to become like little children, an answer which not only applies to the disciples’ immediate problematic habit but perhaps to almost all bad habits. Children are dependent. Children are humble. Children are so much more open to change. Children also realize that they just have to keep working at things in order to succeed. Just think of the number of times a child falls down and gets back up to try again when they are learning to walk.
Today, perhaps you, like me have a habit you want to break. If so be encouraged. Continue to turn it over to the Lord in prayer. Depend upon him through his word. Consider the discipline of fasting. Humble yourself to your own inability to change and trust God to bring about the change within you as you determine to depend upon his power, to keep on keeping on, as you work toward your goal.
Prayer: Father God thank you that change is possible when we choose to humble ourselves in dependence upon you and your power to move us forward in the direction we need to go. Bless us this day with open and trusting hearts to become like little children in your sight. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen