Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
Dictionary.com defines custom as a ‘habitual practice; the usual way of acting in given circumstances’.
The habits we have are customs be they good or bad. They define what we are and are predictable because they are habitual patterns that each person has developed in time. People who know you can predict your reaction to certain matters, they can tell what you are likely to say or behave. A child knows how the father and the mother will react to a request for a 100 shillings. He would then strategize his approach based on the way the father or mother reacts to his various requests.
What kind of customs do we possess? Are they admirable, attractive and honorable? Are they noble customs? Are they acceptable to God? There are some bad customs we possess and they keep us in sin and constant rebellion to God’s will. It could be the way we defile our bodies, could be our filthy talks, could be dirty thoughts, could be the way we treat others, pride, hatred and such like customs. They have become our spiritual downfall.
You and I have to change our worldly customs to conform with the divine will. If we do not work to be transformed from the world we shall continue to live in our own will not the will of God. “The Gentile converts, however, were to give up the customs that were inconsistent with the principles of Christianity.” – Acts of Apostle. Sister White states further that, the children of Israel as they lived amidst Egyptians did not mix themselves with the people of Egypt, they maintained their identity as a special people. They had “..nothing in common with the Egyptians in customs or religion.” This is what christianity is calling us to become, as we remain in the world yet should not be conformed to the worldly customs. Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
The good news is that customs can be changed. We can adopt new customs that will be of glory to God and drop those habits or customs that are promoting our spiritual well-being and our relationship with God. God can help us change our bad customs he is willing to remodel us provided we submit our will to him. I like the words of George Washington’s prayer “..make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber, but daily frame me more & more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ”