Editorial: Hearts & Habits

Anyone with gray hair (or little or no hair), can attest, looking back, that life is comprised of choices. What you are at fifty is determined by the choices you make at twenty and thirty. While it is possible to change direction in life during the sixth and seventh decades, it is exceedingly rare, and exceedingly difficult. So young people, listen up and read on!

Choices lead to habits; habits, in turn, develop character. Character is what and who you really are. The ultimate legacy you will leave your family, assembly, and friends is the character which God formed in you. This far outweighs any material possessions left behind for others.

Articles in this issue highlight this critical matter. Marvin Derksen has contributed an article on “Choices” from the book of Proverbs. Perhaps no other book in our Bibles brings into bold relief the importance of choices, as we hear Lady Wisdom vie with the Strange Woman, crying in the streets to win the simple, gullible youth (Prov 9). The article on “Habits” by John Dennison underlines the fact that choices do lead to habits. We are reminded of the Holy Habits of the one Perfect Man Who moved here. Each believer should cultivate a private life with God marked by consistency.

The sobering consequences of choices are stressed in a valuable article on the Internet, submitted at our request by Matt Smith. Youths, as well as adults, are confronted by far more choices today than ever before, thanks, or no-thanks, to our technologic age. Our esteemed brother Jim Currie’s article on the Evangelical Publishing work reveals how one man’s choice leaves a legacy to future generations. Choices which believers such as L. K. and Mrs. McIlwaine made, as shown in the article by Albert Hull, reinforce this principle.

But what is behind a choice? What motivates, propels, and determines the choices we make? What we know of God and what we think of God determine our choices. Paul teaches us in Ephesians 4 that unsaved men make the choices they do because of being ignorant of God (Eph 4:18). But we have “learned Christ” (v 20). The “grace of God … hath appeared … teaching us …” (Titus 2:11, 12).

So whether you double click on your mouse, double-dip at work, or double-speak with others, you are revealing what you know of God and what you think of Him. Every choice, every action becomes a reflection of how I appreciate God. Is He holy? Is He faithful? Can He meet my needs? Does He satisfy? Does He care? These and a myriad of other questions are all answered by the choices I make.