You have probably heard the saying, “He’s set in his ways,” meaning it is not likely he (or she) is going to change the way they act in certain instances. The “ways” are habits, attitudes, and responses that aren’t likely to change without a very powerful motivation or without some sort of an encounter with God.
I think virtually every habit we have initially began with a thought. Sow a thought and reap an action. Sow an action and reap a habit. Sow a habit and reap a character. Sow a character and reap a destiny. It all goes back to a thought that perhaps should have been dealt with, but wasn’t.
Take a look at the warning we are given in Psalm 39:1:
I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.
The Hebrew word translated “ways” in this passage literally means a well-trodden path. It paints the picture of a pathway that has been walked down so many times that a groove has been worn in that path. And this path…. being worn so well, is many times easier for us to travel. It has been repeated again and again, a response that has been so often repeated that it has become engrained in our behavior as a habit.
Does anyone have the habit of not bridling your tongue?
Let’s pay attention to what the psalmist is asking God for in his prayer. He does not want to speak foolishly or sinful when the wicked are before him (this is the equivalent to someone pushing your buttons). The psalmist knows that sometimes speaking nothing, might be easier than not sinning with his tongue.
It all ties together, doesn’t it? Our ways and our habits, our thoughts and our speech, they go hand and hand… so if you are struggling with your ways… and the things you say, it’s time to deal with your thoughts.
Take some time today to consider your thoughts. Are you giving way to thoughts that will lead to ungodly habits? If so, give those thoughts to God and ask Him to help you think the thoughts that will lead to Godly habits.