Falling Into Old Habits
It is too easy to fall back into my old habits of relying on my own strength or trying to find joy in things from this world.
When I was growing up, there were multiple times when I made an agreement with my parents to do chores in order to get a little bit of money each week. At first, I was extremely motivated. I would sweep the floor as soon as a crumb would fall off of someone’s plate. I scrubbed those dishes with so much intensity I was sure to be sore the next day.
Then came day two of my chore initiative, and I was expected to do those things again. I started losing my motivation to complete the chores, and it just seemed easier to take a pay cut. After all, old habits die hard. I wanted to do the chores, but once the next day rolled around, I fell back into my routine of the life I had lived before the big agreement with my parents.
Don’t worry, I found a better work ethic down the road. However, I can’t help but think this can compare to the way that I sometimes devote myself to God. There are times when I am ready and excited to follow God anywhere and do anything for Him. I am so on fire for God that I could burn down the whole city. But, once that wears off, it can be hard to muster up any motivation at all. It is too easy to fall back into my old habits of relying on my own strength or trying to find joy in things from this world.
The disciples struggled with this, too. In John 21:1-25 after Jesus died, resurrected, and then appeared to the disciples, Peter decided that he would try his hand at fishing again and the others went with him. That night they didn’t catch any fish. Early the next morning Jesus appeared to them and they knew right away who it was. Instantly, they went to Him and He directed them back toward the mission He had called them to.
What had Jesus called them to? I’m glad you asked. In Matthew 28, Jesus called his disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” This mission is restated right before Jesus ascends in Acts 1, “But, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
It was easy for the disciples to fall back into their old way of life and sadly, it’s easy for us to fall back into old habits as well. Old habits die hard when we are relying on our own strength and willpower. The good news is that Jesus is right there with us waiting to help us kick our old ways and to encourage us to follow the mission he has set out before us. We too are called to “go and make disciples of all nations.” Whatever habit might be holding you back from doing that is not too big for Jesus. Let Him guide and motivate you through this life that He has called you to.