To me, one of the most haunting images of the Bible comes from Micah 2:1; What sorrow awaits you who lie awake at night, thinking up evil plans. You rise at dawn and hurry to carry them out, simply because you have the power to do so.
According to J. Stephen Land, one of Christianity’s darkest moments began in 1692, when several adolescent girls in Salem, Massachusetts, began to accuse individuals of being witches. The girls included the daughter and niece of the town’s minister. They started by accusing the minister’s black housekeeper. Then they accused two of the older women in town. By the summer of 1692, the jails were filled with people the girls had accused of witchcraft. The evidence? The girls supposedly went into convulsions in their presence, or they said they had seen an apparition of the accused person. If the accused admitted to being a witch and then said that they were repentant, they were released. Unfortunately nineteen insisted on their innocence and were executed by hanging.
There were many Christians of that time that were opposed to what went on, but they were overruled by those in authority. Why did these girls continue with their accusations? Because they could. And the more they practiced these accusations, the better at it they became.
According to a variety of sources, it can take anywhere from a week to a year to develop to make something into a habit–depending on the individual. But the length of time that seems to come up the most is 21 days. That’s not a very long time. Think of how quickly the things we do, think or say become a permanent part of our lives. And it will take at least as long (and probably more) to undo those habits.
So while we have developed habits like overeating, making critical comments, gossiping, watched trashy movies or television shows, not praying each day, etc., we can undo them. But first we have to start.
A good beginning is to fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).
So let’s practice good……because we can.