Haggai 1:7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Consider your ways!’”
There are certain things a person can never quite get rid of. These particular habits are often the byproduct of our childhood and sometimes come out at the craziest times if we aren’t paying attention.
The other day Abigail and I were having a conversation when suddenly Abigail burst into peals of laughter. We had been reminiscing over a particular TV show and I had repeated a monologue given by one of the main characters. The words spilled effortlessly from my lips with a spot-on New York/New Jersey accent causing the unexpected laugh. I am not usually a very good mimic, but these words flowed effortlessly because they were spoken with the accent of my childhood.
Over the years my speech has changed and conformed more to the Ohio dialect where I have lived for 25 years. But every once in a while, when I am not expecting it, dog becomes dawg and water becomes wauter.
This particular phenomenon of regression can easily happen to Christians, too. When we accept Christ we become God’s child and everything changes for us. We become new creatures with a new way of thinking, living, and talking. Our sins have been forgiven and buried in the deepest sea. Our lives reflect our new family and our new heavenly home.
But while we are still here on earth the old mindsets and patterns of living can easily resurface. We can get so caught up in our everyday affairs that we forget to make our heavenly Father the center of our lives. Soon we have slipped back into using our old “accent” from our previous life. This is the reason it is so important to “consider your ways.”
Haggai, an Old Testament prophet, had to remind the children of Israel of this very thing. They had returned from exile to their home in Jerusalem and had started rebuilding the temple, the building that represented God’s presence in their community. Discouragement caused them to set the building project aside and focus on their own homes and businesses. Soon they forgot to Whom they belonged. God was displaced as the center of their lives and this left them open to sin.
Fortunately, the Israelites heeded Haggai’s message and did consider their ways. They gave God the reverence He was due by obeying and started working again on the temple project. In short order they finished the job and restored appropriate worship. God was pleased, promised to be with them, and restored many blessings they had missed out on by displacing Him.
Old habits die hard! While Abigail and I got a good laugh out of my childhood accent creeping back so easily into my speech, it is no laughing matter when the sinful patterns of our life before knowing Christ make an appearance and threaten to rule our lives. That’s why every day we must carefully “consider our ways” to make sure old habits don’t resurface. As God’s children we have been given a new life and a new home. Let’s work hard not to let the world’s “accent” creep back in. — Love Mama
Sandra Sheridan is a Midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at www.VersesFromMama.com.