Some folks call them routines while others call them ruts. I’m talking about habits here. People tend to fall into patterns, however much we fancy ourselves as being unique. We’re all sheep, according to the Lord, and He would know.
No offense to the Almighty, but does it make you squirmy to think of yourself as a hapless lambkin? If not, good for you. If you do find the wooly reference somewhat annoying, join my club. Who wants to associate themselves with a dim animal who will happily toddle off to slaughter for a handful of grass? Not me.
But wait a minute. Sheep are perfectly made, perhaps not in the image and likeness of God, but they’re pleasing to Him just as they are. No fallen nature there, folks. But I forget about the perfection of God’s creation sometimes, like when I’m slapping a blood sucking mosquito. They do love me. Yet God did review what he created and deemed the heavens and the earth, the plants and trees, the sea and the sky good.
Even we humans can’t be faulted for what we haven’t heard or seen or been taught in some fashion. Right? Ignorance can be bliss in so much as God is entirely fair about not calling you out on what you had no way of knowing.
That said, I’ve reassessed my view about our flocking friends. Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary states that, ‘Despite the popular belief that sheep are stupid, they are actually incredibly intelligent. They have very impressive cognitive ability and just like humans, they form deep and lasting bonds with each other, they stick up for one another in fights, and they grieve when they lose a friend. They experience all of the same emotions that we do including fear, joy, boredom, anger and happiness to name a few.”
Wow. I guess being compared to a sheep isn’t all that awful, although knowing this now has me rethinking being a carnivore. I should probably refrain from getting too deep into the subject since meat is doctor recommended for yours truly. As in, ‘Never, ever become a vegetarian and absolutely not a vegan, Ann.’ If you tend toward anemia of the pernicious variety, I’d say use that excuse to keep the lamb chops coming. (They are tasty, too!)
But we humans are sheep, living in a world of daily expectation. We experience daily failures for which we are accountable thanks to free will. A doubled edged gift. Humans commit bad acts with full knowledge sometimes. Sin happens.
And yet established habit has a way of diminishing culpability. Who hasn’t wanted to stop a deeply ingrained something but found themselves doing whatever it is without even thinking. That would be me. Conscious thought is part of sin, after all. As in actively choosing what you know to be evil.
Here’s a shocker. The Harvard Business Journal indicates that ‘fully 95 percent of our behaviors are habitual, or occur in response to a strong external stimulus. Only 5 percent of our choices are consciously self-selected.’
So, what’s a body to do to keep from digging deeper into bad habits??? First is to realize that God isn’t rubbing His hands together in the anticipation of frying us. Quite the opposite. We are God’s children. Beloved children. He knows we’ll fall, so we should expect it and prepare while still trying our best. We should always ask for God’s help and guidance to be filled with his will and the grace to do it. But, like children, we should be expected to do what we can if only to grow in resolve.
Check here for practical HELP TO OVERCOME UNWANTED HABITS!