Have you written your first check yet this year?
Now, even as I ask that question, I am aware that a huge segment of the population no longer writes checks. I’m not sure my youngest son has written his first check for 2014, much less this year. But I’m also aware that many who do not write checks also do not read newspapers, so most of my readers are in the check-writing generation.
Inevitably, we write the previous year on a check or two every January. It’s just hard to get out of old habits.
Which leads to this question: Are there old habits you need to abandon this year?
For most (if not all) of us, the answer to that question is a clear and loud yes. Most of us do something we would prefer not to do. Most of us do something we need to stop doing. So how do you do it? Do you simply muster up the energy to do better?
I remember standing on the pitcher’s mound and hearing my old baseball coach call out, “Bore your neck, Brad.” Nearly 40 years later, I have no clue what that means. But I do know this: I do not have the ability, fortitude or energy simply to change all old habits I would like to change. You can call it weakness, addiction or anything you want. But it is difficult to change our old ways on our own.
In that, we have something in common with the Apostle Paul. In Romans 7, he makes such statements as, “The very thing I want to do, I don’t do,” and “That which I don’t want to do I still do.” He is declaring in those verses that we are, in fact, enslaved to sin and cannot do anything about it.
Jesus pretty much said the same thing in John 15 when he declared, “Without me, you can do nothing.” But in Philippians, Paul wrote, “I can do all things through him (Jesus) who strengthens me.”
May I encourage you to depend on the only one who can truly help you? Jesus can give you the strength to live as you should, the power to make right choices and the will to do his will.
You need his help. So do I. Let us be careful and faithful to trust him, depend on him and follow him.