December 28, 2012

“Practice these things, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4:15-16

I have a very special purpose in my family.  I eat things.  In particular, I eat old things and not the things that get better with age.  I eat the things that get worse with age; much worse.

TimothyI am the alternative to a dog or the garbage disposal.  I don’t know how many times that I have been told, “You need to eat that before it goes bad.”  We all know that the demarcation of “going bad” is a very subjective one.  However, pushing that line is a risk my wife is willing to take because, heaven forbid, we ever throw anything out.

Therefore, we all play our roles.  My wife tells me to eat something in the back of the refrigerator; I dutifully pull it out and ask her to smell it. She has a better sense than I do for the decaying state of organic matter.  If she gives it the sniff of approval, then down the hatch it goes. My role is fulfilled and my immune system bolstered.

I have come to accept my role without much thought or consideration.  I have even raised my son in my footsteps.  I now actually have to fight for the scraps.  There is no crumb in the bottom of the bag that doesn’t get sucked out.  There is no quarter of a sandwich that doesn’t get consumed.  There is no drop of questionable milk that ever goes down the drain. No ancient casserole ever need fear the landfill in our home.  I have become so accustomed to eating things that it has become second nature.

That is not necessarily a good thing.

The other day I was vacuuming in our basement. My son had been down there, eating and playing video games, and had left a mess. Normally, the cleaning would be his responsibility you make the mess, you clean the mess.  However, company was on the way so time was critical and teenagers tend to move like they’re in molasses while cleaning.

Anyway, I was vacuuming and came upon a chip. Without thinking, I picked up the chip, examined it, popped it in my mouth and continued my vacuuming, chewing away, without a second thought.  As I chewed my little snack, I realized that the wonderfully processed and artificial flavor in my mouth was actually one of my favorite chips. I love those chips, except I couldn’t remember the last time we had those; It had to have been quite a while – at least a month.

Original flavor Sun Chips in the bag

Original flavor Sun Chips in the bag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had a month old chip, that had been hiding away in the crevasse of the couch, in my mouth!  What to do?  It was then that I became aware of the staleness of my little morsel; not very pleasant after all.  What to do?  I did the only reasonable thing – I swallowed; I was committed at that point; I had more vacuuming to do; there was no place to spit it out; let’s face it – I have eaten worse. So, I swallowed. My second nature of eating things has not been good for me.  I had popped something in my mouth that I would normally have refused to eat.  Yet, I ate it – I even swallowed it. I have concluded that eating old things is not a good habit.

We need to be very careful of what we allow to become second nature throughout our lives.  Our habits and normal practices can become so routine that we will do them without thinking.  They become second nature.  That is fine if the practices are good for our soul.  It is very bad if the practices are of this world.

This is why we are to make a practice of training ourselves in godliness, setting our hope on the living God; devoting ourselves to scripture reading, exhortation, and teachings.  The habits that we create in life come from what we repeatedly do.  What we repeatedly do is what we become.  We can either create good habits or bad ones; both will be equally hard to break.

Consider how much of the things of the Spirit that you consume in relation to the things of the world.  What habits are you allowing to form?

 “Sow a thought, and you reap an act;
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)

Let’s keep a close watch on ourselves so that we form habits that will keep us from inadvertently consuming the stale chips of this world.

PRAYER: Father, you know all of my bad habits.  Thank you for your forgiveness, mercy, and patience.  Thank you for breaking many of my bad habits through the power of you Spirit.  Lord, continue that work in me.  Show me those areas in my life where my second nature does not lead me to your righteousness. Show me those areas where I am still clinging to the flesh.  Father, I desire to walk in your Spirit in all areas of my life so that the fruit of your Spirit may be abundant throughout my life for your glory.   Amen


  1. Good words but this was a gem ” teenagers tend to move like they’re in molasses while cleaning.” Some of our habits get stuck in the molasses too.

    • It is sort of funny to watch them. My wife and I sometimes just stand at the window and watch our son meander about doing his chores. I don’t know if he could move slow if he tried. I am trusting that he will grow out of it as some point.

      • There’s always HOPE.

  2. LOVED the prayer so much! Thank you!

    • I am very happy that God could use it to be an encouragement.
      God Bless!

  3. love it so much… blessing.

    • I am so glad God could use it to encourage you.
      God Bless!

  4. Thanks for stopping over at my blog, http://www.broonformybrain.wordpress.com. I really apprciate it.

    Thanks too for you awesome blog! Nice to find brothers and sisters in other parts of the world sowing the same seeds as I do. I will follow your blog. It’s nice to get a devotional from somebody else to build me up too.

    • Thanks for the encouragement. I have enjoyed your blog. Keep up the good work.
      God Bless!

  5. This is my first time checking out your blog. That end prayer is very inspirational. The world needs more of this!

    • Thanks for the encouragement.
      God Bless!

  6. God’s telling me through this post that it’s not bad searching for stale chips in the corners of my room but munching on them is. Stale chips are for the trash bin… Thanks for posting XD

    • Exactly; we still need to do the cleaning just don’t eat the garbage:)
      God Bless!

  7. This is wonderful! I’m still smiling at the stale chips…and the truth behind the lesson.

    • I am so glad it could be an encouragement.
      God Bless!

  8. Exactly what i do in my family brother. Thks for the object lesson. We need to refresh ourselves in the Lord.

    • Us guys are good for eating things, opening jars, and maybe a few other things as well. Thanks for visiting my blog.
      God Bless!

  9. every chip has a life and every life has a chip

    • Very good:)

  10. Great thoughts! Recently the Lord led me to remove all cussing from my vocabulary – not that I cussed a lot but it was there occassionally. Then he urged me to remove other words that weren’t really seen as cuss words in our society, but they are not uplifting words either (like crap or darn). It wasn’t easy at first. I found myself backing up and repeating sentences over again removing the offending word and replacing it with something better or no word at all. My new habit is almost totally there now and I feel better, especially since it was God who prompted me to change.

    • That is awesome; it is always so great to be able to look back over a period of time and see how God has been changing you and see the fruit of the Spirit growing. Thanks for your testimony – we serve an incredible God.

  11. A great post! Beware the staleness.

    • Amen. Thanks for the encouragement.
      God Bless!

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