Just Start Doing It

Just Start Doing It

Just Start Doing It

Luke 3:7-18

I don’t know exactly when I started brushing my teeth twice a day.  It was probably when I was 5 or 6.  I have been doing it virtually every day since then.  It began with a desire to not get cavities, but it became a habit because I just started doing it. The more I did it, the more of a routine it became until it reached a point that if I don’t brush my teeth twice a day something doesn’t feel right.  Something feels off.  It is like something is missing or the day isn’t quite complete and if for some reason I am unable to brush my teeth, I really feel the need to get back into the habit as soon as I can.  This regular practice of teeth brushing is probably one of the reasons I’ve only had one cavity my whole life.

When John the Baptist was preaching in the wilderness his message of repentance was resonating with people. They heard his call to change and to take a better path with their lives.  They heard his call to turn from sin and draw closer to God.  Then they asked the practical question of, “Ok, we’ve heard your call to change, but then what should we do?  How do we make this kind of change?”

John responded in a very personal way depending on their situation.  He said, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”  Basically he told them to just start doing good.  Create a new habit.

Doing good does not make one repentant; but true repentance does produce the proper, good fruit. Sharing one’s food and clothing, and living within one’s means doesn’t make one a Christian; but being a Christian should result in such deeds. However, practically and therapeutically, sometimes the order is reversed. A pastor once shared a slogan that was practiced at the hospital where he worked.  It was: “Act yourself to a new way of thinking.”

Is there any part of your life where you might like to see a change?  Is there a new positive habit you would like to have?  What would it mean to just start trying it?  By changing a behavior might you also change a way of thinking?

-Pastor Erik Goehner