When my oldest son was 4, he started having some behavior problems at preschool. My husband and I set up a reward system that worked alongside his teacher’s behavior chart. After a day of good behavior, our son would receive a reward like screen-time, a piece of candy, or a sticker. Eventually, he started getting restless in the system and the small rewards weren’t enough motivation. He started expecting immediate rewards for EVERY little thing he did like putting his shoes on or buckling his seat belt. Good behavior didn’t become a habit, but expecting a reward did!
A habit is something you do over and over until it becomes hard to stop. It’s an action or thought you repeat many times until it becomes a pattern. Some habits turn into a kind of a trap, like rewarding a 4-year-old for good behavior! Eventually, it becomes hard NOT to do those things that have become habits. This is how sin, bad habits, and wrong thinking take charge in our lives. John 8:36, says “So if the Son makes you free, then you are unquestionably free.” The surrounding verses show that Jesus sets us free from guilt and sin that easily traps us. Without Jesus, we can’t escape from the power of sin over our lives. Through Jesus, we can have unquestionable freedom. Sinful behavior is no longer a habit because sin is no longer in charge of our lives. Jesus promises to set us free from the trap of immediate rewards and free us to live like sons and daughters of God our Father!