Mental habits can be just as addicting as physical habits.

Minding Your Moods:
Ways of Acting

Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 5:8-14

Key Verse: Ephesians 5:15

Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise

Like me, once you hear the term soft addictions, you probably think in terms of activities that we get ourselves into.  Once we start investigating this idea that soft addictions can be ways of coping and/or manipulating life, you will probably recognize these addictions.  Mental habits can be just as addicting as physical habits.  Being tempted to act out self pity can be as bad, or worse than spending hours watching TV.  Getting into a habit of saying yes, when you really mean no can feel like a good way to avoid conflict.  Unfortunately, it’s a habit that will frustrate your family and friends!

            The Apostle Paul instructed the Ephesian Christ followers to “be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise, but as wise” (verse 15).  We can see that living wisely is living authentically as Christ modeled.  The apostle was inspired to start this same chapter with the command to imitate God as dearly loved children.  In other words, like a little child imitating their mom or dad, we should study God and then go act in His character.

            If you spent a week walking with Jesus as the disciples were privileged to do, can you imagine Jesus avoiding a needed conversation or minimizing its importance?  Can you imagine Him attacking in order to feel superior as He dealt with people?  Would Jesus get defensive or manipulative?  All these ways of acting can be soft addictions that we don’t realize we are into!

Father, help me to act out of your wisdom rather than the flesh simply to get my way.  Help me to mind my moods.  I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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