by Suni Bradford
I was at work doing my regular duties, one of which is making late payment calls. When a word, one that should not have come out of the mouth of a professed Christian (my words). A short time later, my co-worker asked me softly, how I felt about speaking like that as someone who is working in a ministry sharing Jesus Christ through her blogs? “Ouch”- is all I can say. I felt like a hypocrite with no integrity. I have heard comments in the past about Christians being “hypocrites” and I have responded with they are not hypocrites but sinners. I certainly do not want to be a hypocrite but more so I don’t want to miss the opportunity to shine Jesus light on someone. Whether this light be spoken or felt in kindness.
We talked about how these “old habits” are, oh so stubborn to die. It seems words and actions tend to come so quickly without a conscious decision is made. Romans 7:15 came to mind. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. How many times I’ve read that scripture and thought, how true.
A leader in the area of personal growth Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D. explains how bad habits are actually recorded in neural pathways in our brain and we have to do reprogramming like we would with a computer. Couldn’t we just do a defrag and clean it all up, like we do on our computers? No. Unfortunately,it takes practice.
God can and may do this “clean up” of the brain for some but I believe He is shaping me through the changes, disciplines and practices. Changes that “I” must make. Habits that I must create. He has taken away many of the things that held me in bondage, such as a desire for alcohol and drugs. Praise Jesus. I want to break these habits that keep me from the fullness God has for me.
This has been a great lesson about integrity and humility. I was reminded of the responsibility of being a representative of Jesus Christ. To show Him to others through my words and actions.
Hypocrisy: The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.
Integrity: The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
I am grateful that today I can sincerely thank my friend for pointing out my shortcomings. Also I am extremely grateful that God has shaped me into a woman that handled it with grace.
Live bold and blessed, Suni