My father didn’t smoke, but his father did…at least for a short period. My grandfather’s smoking consisted of rabbit tobacco (a poor man’s smoke) and Chesterfield cigarettes. But when he reached the age of being able to legally smoke, he quit. It wasn’t fun anymore. My father broke the chain by never starting.
My mother also broke a chain. Her father was a heavy drinker and smoker. Every glass of Pepsi Cola was prefaced by a shot of whiskey. Empty liquor bottles hugged the seams of every barn on his farm. Each shirt pocket housed a pack of Camel or Salem cigarettes. But as far as I know, my mother never tasted a drop of alcohol or puffed on a cigarette.
Unfortunately King Amon didn’t break the chain. His father Manasseh would have ranked near the top of any list of corrupt kings with such acts as idol worship, sacrificing his own children, and Temple desecration. He later cried out for God’s forgiveness…but not his son. But unlike his father, he did not humble himself before the LORD. Instead, Amon sinned even more (II Chronicles 33:23 NLT).
Habits resemble chains, but they’re also choices. Unhealthy or even dangerous patterns of behavior are learned but can be unlearned with God’s assistance. Children of alcoholics and abusers often repeat their parent’s behavior because that’s what they observe as the norm. Uncontrolled anger and manipulation are two more unhealthy chains.
But these and other devastating chains can be broken by depending on the power of God’s indwelling Spirit, through relationships with friends who will share their wisdom and hold us accountable, and-when necessary, by sessions with Christian counselors.
Are there unhealthy chains you’re having difficulty breaking? Seek God’s guidance about what steps to take to be free from the chain’s hold.
Prayer: Thank You Father for offering to break the strongholds that chain us. Give us courage to let You free us from binding forces.
Why not top off this devotion by trying one of my
wife's favorite recipes?