Training and Untraining

Label it “sin,” or “habit.” The label doesn’t change the fact. When one does something repeatedly over a long time—it becomes ingrained.

Because of bone-on-bone arthritis in my left knee, I spent two years on crutches and two years limping. Now, Praise the Lord, my knee has been replaced and the pain is gone…but I must learn to walk again without limping. My legs have become programmed to throw my weight to the right and untraining (or retraining to be grammatically correct) that tendency is proving difficult.

This makes me think about habits, lifestyles, and sin. Sin is not a popular word in today’s culture. We want to believe that we have a right to our own bodies and a right to make our own choices—and it’s true that God gives us freedom of choice. But it is also true that the Bible warns us not to do anything that destroys our bodies. Smoking, drugs, alcohol, over-eating, gratuitous sex—all these destroy the body God gave us, and our bodies are God’s holy temple.

Repeat frequently, and these sins, habits, and lifestyle choices grow into monsters that we cannot slay. The bad thing about monsters is that they start out so small and trivial that we barely notice when they move into our lives. By the time they reach maturity—they are virtually too strong to shove back outside. I wrote a book about that a few years ago, “Growing Your Monster,” which has a 5-Star Rating. Growing Your Monster – Kindle edition by McKean, Stephanie Parker, Potter, Victoria M. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @

Centuries before I wrote “Growing Your Monster,” Jesus warned about monsters in the Bible: “Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.” God never leaves us without a solution to our problems, even if they are problems we created for ourselves and monsters that we have nurtured. “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD.” (Zechariah 4:6)

God’s Holy Spirit is a monster-slayer.

7 thoughts on “Training and Untraining

  1. Ah yes. Steph, habits. They can be good or bad but they are always hard to break. A lovely piece of writing, my friend. I hope God is giving you comfort in these difficult times and I’m so pleased your knee is finally healing. I look forward to the day we can (hopefully) meet again xx

  2. One thing that really helps me look at my habits in perspective is the realisation that my body is the only physical thing I “came with” and belongs to me. This prompts me to take good care of it.

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