Old Patterns

Some people become very concerned when, after renouncing their sin and walking in the victory Jesus brings, they find that they still feel vulnerable to the sins that formerly had power over them. I think of this like the dry riverbeds I come across in the bush. A rutted riverbed is often dry for years at a time. When the rain comes, the water rushes into the riverbed and flows along, easily following the course of dry, well-worn ruts formed in the past.

Our minds are like those riverbeds. We get into the habit of thinking and reacting in certain ways, and when the temptation arises, we easily fall into the old ways. There is an old proverbial saying that goes like this:

Make a thought, reap a choice;

Make a choice, reap a habit;

Make a habit, reap a character;

Make a character, reap a destiny.

When we totally give our lives to Christ, we are given power to overcome sin. But the old, dry riverbeds of habits and thought patterns are still there. The power that once held us in those habitual ruts has been broken, but the ruts are still there. Those old sin patterns are the ones most likely to trip us up and are the easiest to fall back into. The good news, however, is that Christ has freed us from the power those patterns once exerted over us. As we grow in Christ, those old ruts will also be washed away. But it usually takes time, and in the meantime we have to be alert to the old ways and beware that we do not fall into them again.

McClung, Floyd. Follow: A Simple and Profound Call to Live like Jesus. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2010. Print.