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Habits of Holiness

When I read about Judas’ betrayal or the disciples falling asleep in the garden, it’s easy to scoff and admonish them for their actions. I would never betray Jesus for thirty denarii! I say to myself. And I would never fall asleep when Jesus asked me to keep watch. 


Then I set aside my reading, go out into the world, spend my money on indulgent pleasures, pinch my pennies from the poor, and set aside my prayers for the time most convenient (and least intrusive) to my schedule. 


Sound familiar?


Our offenses to God might look different from those in the Bible, but that doesn’t make them any less offensive. It’s easy to point fingers and turn our nose from the transgressions of others; after all, we didn’t sell out Jesus to the high priests. We didn’t fall asleep while we were supposed to be on watch. And while we’re on the topic, I would never have eaten the fruit in the Garden of Eden. 


Put it into perspective, though. Do you give Jesus the first fruits of your day? Do you spend your money prudently, or do you spend it all for pleasure? Do you tithe first? Do you tend to your duties willingly, or do you grumble? Do you keep Christ to yourself, or do you share Him openly and lovingly with others? Are you afraid to share His word for fear of persecution? Do you go to church on Sunday and leave Jesus at the door? Do you betray Him, too?


Our grievances may not be so obvious as those in the Bible, but they still lurk, harming our relationship with God. Anything that comes between us and Him–whether it’s laziness, gluttony, sloth, greed, or lust–separates from the perfect love God wishes to share with us. 


Examine your habits and your heart as we enter into the Lenten season. How do you betray God? When do you sleep when you should be keeping watch?


When we offer God the little moments of our day, we build habits of turning our hearts to Him. These habits grow and, with time, we are able to enjoy the fruits of our little labors of love. This Lent, examine your habits and root out the weeds of evil and negligence to make room for our Lord.



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