Habits Naturally

I settle into my desk chair after being out of the office. Looking down reading, my right hand rests on my Apple Magic Trackpad in order to wake up my MacBook Pro. Looking up to the stand where my computer sits on my desk it's empty. Out of habit, I quickly slide my fingers side to side thinking, "Why won't this thing wake up?"

It computes in a nanosecond: There is no MacBook Pro on the stand. Not on my desk. Not in my hand. "You are looking at thin air, Doofus." I laugh out loud. Really.

My MacBook Pro is where I left it. On my coffee table. And I am a Doofus. Really.


I wish other habits came so naturally as resting my hand upon that trackpad.

I wish when I am lazy, I'd naturally work purposefully.

I wish when I feel angry, I'd naturally bridle my temper.

I wish when I think judgmentally, I'd naturally assume kindness.

I wish when I desire gluttony, I'd naturally restrain appetites.

I wish when I react pridefully, I'd naturally exercise humility.

I wish when I am tempted, I'd naturally resist all advances.

I wish my bad habits—all those default sinful shortcomings—did not come so naturally.

I wish good habits—as those of exercised in the life of Christ—did come ever so naturally.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life I live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20, KJV

"Not I, but Christ."

That exchange is not unnatural. It's supernatural.

Make it a habit. Supernaturally.

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Overcoming Overeating

Would I have to dodge rotten tomatoes hurled in protest?  Would the church family I love so much be hurt by my taking up a near unspoken topic?  Folks cautioned me.  And I have to admit that I was concerned to preach on the topic of overeating.  Just look at me.  Skinny-gened runner guy.  Overeating was identified in our congregational survey as the second most troublesome sin we struggle with.  I had to address it.  My goal was the same as any Sunday: To apply God's Word for practical life change.  Lovingly & honestly, admitting my own sinfulness, I set out to preach You Too? Sins We All Struggle With - Overeating.

It is not about size, but desire.

That is where the discussion of overeating must start for Christ followers.

Overeating is not about the size of your waist, but the spiritual condition of your heart.

Overeating is not about the food you eat, but the desires of your heart.

Overeating is not about the food at all, but about control - the food's, your's or God's?

Christ followers are called from evil to holiness, from our desires to self control, from judgment to grace.  1 Peter 1:13-17 - a passage that can be used as a template for dealing with any besetting sin - challenges us to seek God's supernatural assistance in overcoming our natural desires.

  • Self control.  If you know you will be tempted by something, then you must be ready to exercise self control.  "Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled," states 1 Peter 1:13.  Self control, however, is not completely your control over yourself.  Self control is control over one's self by the power of the Holy Spirit.  You can not do it alone.  God is all powerful & He helps (Titus 2:11-12).  Be prepared for temptation by calling on Him ahead of time.
  • Grace.  Can we all agree to live in the grace we have received?  It'd be a much nicer world.  Where, unlike the unmerciful servant of Matthew 18:21-35, we would actually seek to grace others as we have been graced & beyond.  1 Peter 1:13 further commands, "set your hope fully on the grace you have received." That is living in grace.  Not judgment.  All your hope is tuned to all that God has done for you.
  • Desire.  It is natural to obey our own evil desires, but God calls us to follow Him supernaturally.  "As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance," says 1 Peter 1:14.  Call on our great God.  Allow Him to work in & through you to master the desires that want to master you (Genesis 4:7).
  • Holiness.  It's an impossibility for us - the natural servants of a self-gratifying sinfulness - to be holy.  But God, by Jesus sacrificial death, imparts new life and holiness upon us if we ask.  We were bough with a price.  Our bodies are His temples.  We should honor God with our bodies.  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
  • Judgment.  We really need to get over ourselves & leave the judgments to God.  More than that we need to leave our shallow, prideful jugmentalism in the dungheep where it belongs.  With overeating in particular, we always want to compare ourselves to the next person.  Our judgments are biased.  We "call on a Father who judges each man's works impartially," 1 Peter 1:17.  He looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7) not the waste size.

Eating is not sinful.  God designed it.  Food is not sinful.  God created it.  Appetites are not sinful.  God gives them.  Enjoying the taste of food is not sinful.  God created us to enjoy such sensory pleasures.  Yet over-indulgence - overeating - is sinful.  As Lysa Terkeurst writes in Made to Crave, "It compromises our health, diminishes our energy to pursue our calling, and affects the way we feel about ourselves, just to name a few."

As we ask God for assistance based on His promises & rely on His power, may we overcome every sin we struggle with.  May we overcome overeating.

By a Shirt

I was wearing my church monogrammed white polo shirt yesterday.  Southview Baptist Church.  Growing in... Love.  Thats my church.  Our tag line - I love what it says & means - could not be scaled to fit the monogram.  The tag line is our purpose statement: Growing in God's Life Changing Love.

So there I was going about my day.  Minding my own business.  Living life.  Cognizant of my need to grow in God's life changing love.  Really, I was.

When I was tempted.  Sorely tempted to sin.  Oh, doesn't the Devil know your buttons & how to push them?

Yet I thought, "I'm wearing my church shirt.  I can't give in to that sin.  Folks will know."  And, thanks to a monogram, I was saved from sin.  By a shirt.

What saves you from sinning?

Would the shirt you wear or the words you say keep you from falling to a given temptation?  

Have you considered that God knows everything no matter how well you think it's hidden?

How much grace does God have for you in spite of - because of - your sins?

Are you confident that Jesus has eternally saved you from your sins?  If not, will you contact me?

Root Nacks

(Note: This is the recreated post that I lost provoking my declaration against PCs in the previous post.)

Half eaten bowl of Lucky Charms before him & my sweet when he wants to be, always entertaining son, JM, starts in this AM.  Lobbying his Mama.  Working it with all the preschool logic he can muster.  The boy wants fruit snacks.  In Markese, his somewhat still toddlerfied talk, it comes out "root nacks."

We're two days away from his fourth birthday.  He & Mama had been shopping just yesterday.  They returned with all sorts of goodies for his Toy Story themed party.  And not just Toy Story, but Toy Story Three.  If you forget to add the third word he'll correct you.  "Toy Tory Free."

One of those goodies was a box of Toy Story Fruit Snacks.  Fruity.  Chewy.  But, dare I say, waxy.  JM wants root nacks right away.  

I wanna open my root nacks now, Mama.

You can't eat them now, John Mark, they're for your birthday.

I won't eat them.  I'll just hold them.


How long do you think ten root snacks will last in the hands of a three year three hundred sixty three day old boy before they make it to his mouth?

We think we can get close to our temptation & not fall.  Maybe.  Some.  But not always.  No more than a preschooler with root nacks.  Why even go there?

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day & night.  Psalm 1:1-2

Share a comment.  What does this Scripture teach you about avoiding temptation & falling to it?

Death to PCs

Don't read me wrong.  Not people of the politically correct stripe.  I love people.  Personsal computers not so much.

Would you like to know why I make this bold declaration of death to PCs?

Just now: I had my brand new MacBook Pro installing it's final updates in the middle of my desk.

Simultaneously I was completing a new blog post about temptation on my desktop PC.  Then my PC crashed.

There is always autosave, right?

When it works.

It didn't.

And I lost it.

My post.

My patience.

How ironic.  Just about to leave PCs forever and my PC had to kick me in the backside on the way out the door.  Bitter.  Sad.  Irony.

Death to PCs.

I'm Aaron Householder.  And I'm a Mac.