Getting CONTROL over BAD habits: I can remember so distinctly… My Mother, and we three boys (my Father had gone to California to find gold) were sitting around the evening dinner table…when my older brother was upset about something, and said the “s-word.” My Mother, very calmly said…. “Sonny, the next time you use that word, think about… as if it were in your mouth.”
WOW! I NEVER said cuss words in front of my Mother, but I used the “s-word” all the time; along with an array of other filthy sailor talk… way outside the range of her ears. I used to cuss at my brother’s friends, just to see if I could “shock” them. After all… I was nine or ten… and a ‘big-shot.’
My brother’s friends used to say…. ‘You better tell your little brother …he better quit calling us those names, or someday, someone… is going to make him eat those words.” I was old enough to cuss…right? WRONG! I knew better, I was taught better, but didn’t care better. I continued to CUSS until I was about 13, about the time that I got ‘religion.’ And I STOPPED cussing, along with a few other bad habits. In fact, my children, ranging from 48 to 56, have NEVER hear me use a curse word, nor has my wife. I just don’t cuss.
I tell this story because… to often… we seem to have “very little control” over what we say…and do… (you know….the devil made me do it), and cussing is one of the few things that I have complete control over. Another is: I quit drinking alcohol about 40 years ago (it was easy, as I only drank about ½ pint over the course of a year). I wanted to set a good example for my children…. But it turned out that that was wishful thinking; as an older cousin managed to teach them all they wanted to know. I also quit drinking coffee about the same time. And, I NEVER really smoked. So, there you have it. I don’t smoke, cuss, or drink coffee or alcohol. I have “complete control” over those vices.
Having “that control” gives me hope that I can develop better CONTROL over those other vices that most of mankind have become enchanted with.
I’m working on the Golden Rule, still, and trying to treat my bride, and others… with more RESPECT. I’m trying to be more TOLERANT. I’m still working on the tendency to CHALLENGE everything that other people say… And, it’s hard not to BRAG every now and then. And, the BIGGEST challenge… I’m ‘learning to love’ my neighbor. (I’ll save that story for another day). Heck, I’ve even stopped “telling jokes,” for which I was pretty talented.
So… I’m taking that ‘wasted time’… doing the bad stuff in life, and using it… to do “good stuff.” I’m trying to take ALL the SMARTS that I’ve collected over the last 78 years, and “share them with you”… and others within hearing distance. In the process, I have taken up the habit of “preaching-the-gospel.”
I’ve come to realize that Jesus was talking to me, when He said …in Matthew 28:19 – “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” I do this through LinkedIn…and my personal website: BrOOKS-of-WISDOM (www.charlesbrooks.com). I’m trying to “walk-the-talk.”
Please consider… along with me… the idea of giving up needless chatter, and other ‘worldly habits… which satan has introduced to we weaklings. Start with the easy stuff… and develop the spiritual strength to challenge the ‘really bad stuff.’