This morning, Melody said, "Hey, what is written on your T-shirt?" I really didn't know, so she began to read it out loud to me, as follows:
I promise not to sleep in church, especially during the sermon. I will read the Bible and say my prayers. I promise not to sing off key and always arrive on time. I promise not to complain when the basket is passed around for the collection. I will never chew gum in church or sneak out early. Because, I am the minister ... I AM the minister ... I AM THE MINISTER.
Well, we both got a chuckle out of that. I don't remember if it is a shirt I bought or one someone gave me, but I do know that I have had it for many years. As I thought about this shirt and what my wearing it proclaimed, I wondered what other things people see in me and what the things proclaim.
You see, each of us tends to gravitate towards that which is comfortable for us. We get into patterns and routines, and before long, we don't like to vary from them. I never really considered what my T-shirt said. After all, I wear it because it is comfortable and lets me go to sleep easily in something that is soft and warm. Most of us feel the same way about life in general. We get into habits and find it hard to break from that habit. But what is it that others see in you through your habits and patterns? What is it that you see in yourself because of these habits and patterns? Do you even take time to reflect upon yourself and the habits and patterns of your life?
Many of us don't take time to evaluate our lives — our habits and patterns of thinking, acting, and saying. This is definitely not a new problem, it is rooted in human nature. Long ago, the apostle Paul wrote: "And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed" (Romans 13:11 NKJV).
Paul also wrote about the friends we keep and their habits:
Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits. Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame (1 Corinthians 15:34).
Developing and keeping good habits and good companions is probably something many of us need to focus upon — where we go, what we do, with whom we associate, how we speak, and even what we wear can say something about us.
As we continue into the first few weeks of this New Year, it's a good time to "awake to righteousness" and notice the message our companions, patterns, and habits give to others. How about taking a look at what your life proclaims and tune it to God's will and purposes!