He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,

‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’ (Mark 7:6-7, NRSV; ref. Isaiah 29:13)

compulsive behavior cloudI have my compulsions. Perhaps you have yours. The religious elites of Jesus’ day weren’t much different from the ones we meet, or perhaps are, today. Compelled by their traditions, many can’t even explain why they do the things they do, but are certainly convinced that not to do them would be a sin. In this instance, the God they professed to serve was standing before them in human form and they argued with Him about their righteousness compared with that of His disciples.

Oh! That I may not repeat their mistake again, as I have already!

My way is not the only way, but your way may not be my way either. I no longer wish to be compelled by anything but the will of God. My feelings, my wishes, my lusts, and my list of ways it’s always been were summarily demoted when I took Step Three and promoted my God to ruler over my life. I have fallen in humiliation from the throne of my life on which I once sat, and took my place at the feet of the One who belonged there. I do not want to be humiliated like that again, so I voluntarily humble myself at His feet daily. I have to. My ego has a rapid-growth disease and gets out of control far too fast for me to omit this.

Step Three Prayer (from page 63 of Alcoholics Anonymous)

God, I offer myself to Thee to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.

Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.

Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness

To those I would help of Thy Power, Thy love and Thy way of life,

May I do Thy will always!