REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on August 22, 2014.
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“Building Habits” (Part A)
“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
All of us are creatures of habit-whether good or bad. The author of Hebrews was concerned about one particular bad habit: some believers stopped participating in Christian meetings which was designed to encourage one another. Likewise, the apostle Paul was concerned about certain widows who got “into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house . . ., talk[ing] nonsense” (1 Tim. 5:13). But then there are those who formed good habits, one of which was responsible for saving the Jews during the World War II.
While repeatedly banging the door, a voice from outside shouted, “Open the door! We’re the secret police of the Third Reich. Are you hiding any Jews?” “No,” said Corrie Ten Boom. Not believing her, the Nazi police thoroughly searched the house but found no one. But there were actually several Jews hiding in a secret room built by Ten Boom, a Dutch Christian. She was part of only a handful of Gentiles who, during the WW II, “refused to hide behind the mask of the innocent by-stander donned by so many of the fellow citizens in Germany, Poland, France and elsewhere” (Christianity Today). For heroic acts like these, many suffered: Ten Boom who was imprisoned, while others, like her father and sister, were killed.
So what was behind these people becoming such exceptional human beings who risked so much to rescue the helpless Jews? Were they naturally more compassionate? In terms of investment, it was a terrible decision since the potential return was absolute zero, that is, in a material sense; the risk involved was losing everything, including one’s life. Some time ago, such curiosity led researchers at a university to conduct an 8-year study of these rescuers and found that they may have saved as many as 500,000 lives.
So who were these people? They found that these were both “rich and poor, educated and barely literate, believers and even few atheists” (or, a womanizer like Oskar Schindler). But one interesting discovery—a common thread that tied them together—wasn’t something you would have guessed. They were ordinary folks who had a history of doing good deeds before the War. Because they got into the habit of doing good, it was a natural response for them. Most of them never planned to be rescuers. They simply found themselves responding to the need first and the danger second.
So doing good deeds was a habit for them; habits, whether good or bad, are hard to change! And one way to build this good habit is taking part consistently in Christian fellowship where “we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” See you this week at the mid-week family or cell group.
Prayer: Dear God, help me to develop good habits so that I will obey You without having to think long and hard about it. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 24-25