HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div

“Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.” Psalm 19:12

The Power of Habit

The exercise of a long-continued habit has a deadening power. There are sins that were not secret long ago, but habit and custom have made them secret now.

For good or for evil in this life of ours, habit is always busy doing that. Things that would wake us once and make us jump with fear are robbed of their power to disturb our slumber. And so the sins that long ago were open, and shocked us and made us blush to think of them, may have become with passing years our secret sins. You would have been very unhappy once when the day was over if you had flung yourselves down upon a prayerless bed. And yet it may be that you do it now with never a thought that you are grieving God. You would have been miserable once and full of guilty shame had you been cruel, dishonest, or impure. And yet it may be that today you sin these sins without any inward unhappiness at all.

My fellow ministers, brothers and sisters, that is Satan’s triumph–to take our open sins and make them secret: to take the faults that shamed us long ago and make us habituated and accustomed to them. When a man has ceased to be shamed and shocked by sin, when he does habitually what once he loathed and hated, let him beware for his immortal soul, for final impenitency crouches at the door. “Cleanse thou me, O Lord, from secret faults.” They were not secret once in a happy childhood. Then they distressed us and sent us out in misery, but they do not distress us for a moment now. So from the pressure of habit and of custom, touching us all into a certain hardness, we may be sure that we need to apply the psalmist’s prayer to ourselves as well.


Author: Godfrey Gregg

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.