The other day I went grocery shopping with my wife. I used to really despise grocery shopping. In fact I used to despise all forms of shopping. I have grown to learn that shopping is actually quite fun because I get to spend one on one time with my wife. I have learned to focus on the positive of enjoying time with my wife instead of the negative of not enjoying shopping. Now, I genuinely enjoy it.

When we got to the checkout line I waited and did what you do while waiting in line. I looked at the tabloid gossip headlines and at the assortment of impulse purchase items that are strategically placed on the shelves in the checkout line. As my eye wondered across the variety of items I happened to notice what the person in front of us was purchasing for groceries. On the grocery conveyer belt he had a bag of Snickers bars, a bag of Tootsie Rolls, a box of chocolate chip cookies, a coconut creme pie, a box of Oreos, a box of creme cheese danish and a box of crunchy wheat bran cereal. In his array of very unhealthy foods he had one box of health cereal.

After noticing this it reminded me that the habits we choose in life are very important. We all have certain eating habits, exercise habits (if we exercise), social habits and church habits (if we go to church). Our habits become so routine that we frequently aren’t even aware of them. The man in front of me in the grocery store line obviously had a sweet tooth. He was in the habit of eating cookies, candy and danishes. He must have been somewhat conscious of his sweet tooth because he tried to balance it out with a very healthy bran cereal. He liked to enjoy certain foods even though they weren’t healthy for him. At the same time he also tried to balance out his diet by eating a healthy cereal.

After further reflection on this I instantly realized that some people in the church do the exact same thing. They do what they want to do all week and then they go to church on Sunday to balance out their lives. The entire week they metaphorically eat cookies, cake, candy, etc, and church for them is their healthy cereal day. They believe that church balances out all the other things that they do the entire week.

The problem with this line of thinking is it isn’t true and doesn’t work. The man that I observed in the grocery store line didn’t have a healthy balanced diet just because he ate healthy cereal, and just because someone goes to church on Sunday doesn’t mean they are balanced spiritually.

In keeping the food metaphor, what is your cookie or candy or danish in life? Is it alcohol, cigarettes, stimulating drugs or pornography? All of those “candies” are not healthy for you physically or spiritually. You can’t do those things during the week and then go to church on Sunday to balance out your life. It just doesn’t work that way.

What are your habits? Seriously? Have you ever really thought about that? At the end of a busy day, in the evenings, do you habitually enjoy having a couple of drinks to relax and calm you down? If so, do you do it every night? If you do, have you developed a drinking habit? If you have this habit how is it directly impacting your life? You may think that it is not because that is what you have always done. You have always enjoyed your “candy.”

Here is a challenge for you. See if you can actually do it. Try not drinking (or whatever else is your “junk food”) in the evenings for one full week, seven days. See if you can do it. If you can’t or you feel uncomfortable, your habit may have developed into a real problem.

Don’t let your habits and desires control your spiritual healthiness. Don’t let church be your one healthy outlet in life. Analyze your life and make choices that will benefit you physically and spiritually. Don’t let church be your cereal.

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