You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (Rom. 6:18)

“RENT A SENIOR,” the local high school announced. The senior class was raising travel funds by hiring themselves out for a few hours. The apostle Paul makes a more radical announcement: Christians aren’t just to hire themselves out to God for a weekend. Instead, they’re to become God’s “slaves” for life.

At first this doesn’t sound too appealing. In one breath Paul said we are set free from slavery to sin, but in the next breath he said we’re now slaves to righteousness. Choose your master, he said. But why do we have to be slaves at all?

Paul used illustration that made sense to people in the Roman Empire, which had a large slave population. Nowadays, we might make his point by talking about habits. No one is free from habits. We’re only free to choose which habits will govern our lives. We can break old habits and start new ones, but the longer we let a habit go, the more it will master us. Choose your slavery, indeed.

Recently, several of my students signed up for an eight-week program of spiritual disciplines. By the end of the program, they were amazed at how much they’d grown through intentionally practicing holy habits. When we form our habits well, they form us well.

What spiritual habit or practice might you add to strengthen your faith?

Check your habits to see if you’re growing in wickedness or righteousness.