The Habit

April 3, 2014
by Lynne Phipps

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 still have the habit of 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 exercise 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 those habits 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 applies not only to the disciples' immediate problematic habit but also 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 when children fall down and get 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.

About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you Lynne.

    Wise words as always Lynne.

    Loved it. Keep writing.

    Well said, as usual, Lynne. Thank you.

    Great message Lynne. With God’s help, it’s never too late to change our bad habits or replace them for something worthwhile in the Lord.

    Thank you Lynne for this up lifting devotional. Having just come through the breaking of an addiction this ministered to me today. I am taking from this the truth that He is with me all the steps of the way. Blessings.

    Lynne – Wow! I just turned to the Lord this evening to ask Him to help me change, with what I think, is a bad habit. I believe He can and will help me change. Thank you for this word of affirmation.
    May God continue to bless you.

    Dear Lynne,
    A great prayer.
    Yes, children are wonderful and amazing! God made them that way. Let us copy their humility and dependence on God.

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