(Proverbs 18:9 The Message) Slack habits and sloppy work are as bad as vandalism.
The Message (Bible) does not leave any room for negotiation when it comes to comparing “slack habits” to “vandalism.” The Hebrew meaning for “vandalism” is destruction, corruption, snare or trap. With that interpretation of “slack habits” it shows when one is undisciplined in establishing good habits then their “slackness” could result in a corrupt and destructive lifestyle.
No one is an island unto themselves, therefore what one speaks—whether good or bad—has an effect on others., Jesus said, “...every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matthew
One is also accountable for how they use their time. Using one’s time to establish and maintain good habits not only affects the level of success in one’s life, but it also pleases God. Living a good disciplined life is much more important to God than we first thought.
Perhaps that is why we are told that “...your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit...You are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19). This means that we are the caretaker of our body and responsible to God for establishing and maintaining good habits for it. This would also explain why “good habits” are so hard to create and so easy to break.
A good example of this is how on the first of each year millions of well-meaning folks make commitments to go on a diet and to do more exercise. However, the percentage of folks who actually keep that commitment is miniscule.
There are also millions of other folks who make a commitment to pray and read their Bibles more...only to begin failing within days. Perhaps “need” is the only true driving force behind successfully creating and maintaining “good habits.”
For example, “need” was the driving force behind me creating the “good habit” of getting up at five o’clock each morning in order to have the time to do my writings.
I not only write Meditations which I send out each week, but I also write for a paper in Canada that has a segment called “Ask the Pastor.” All questions that are sent in to “Ask the Pastor” are immediately sent to me. I respond by writing an answer and sending them back.
I also once wrote a daily devotion for businessmen and sent it to them before they went to work each day. A “good habit” needed to be developed in order to accomplish all of this.
There seems to be two types of needs. There is a “driving need,” such as the one I just mentioned and there is the “non-driving need” such as the need to diet. A “non-driving need” is no less important than the “driving need,” but it is easier to neglect and therefore the necessary “good habit” to accomplish it is never established.
According to our text, the point of all of this is when one’s life is made up of “slack habits and sloppy work” it will inevitably produce a “corrupt and destructive lifestyle.”
Help us to be more conscious of our responsibility in caring for our bodies and the “habits” we create. Our desire Lord is to fulfill Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”