Accustomed to a New Climate

I recently had the power steering pump replaced in the van. It had gotten worse and worse. When the steering wheel would turn, it would moan and groan. It got to the point that it sounded like someone was in there talking to me. That made me a bit uncomfortable, so I had it fixed. I didn’t realize how bad it was until the problem was alleviated. I was so used to the problem, that I didn’t see the problem for what it was. I had acclimated.

When we first moved here, I thought 50 degrees was cold. I remember arriving in the area at the first of the year. I thought 50 degrees, sunny, and no wind was a frigid day. It turns out that those weather conditions are fit for a beautiful day. Who knew? I’ve acclimated.

We acclimate. The word acclimate means to become accustomed to a new climate. Our bodies and our minds are always acclimating. This can be a good thing. But it can also be a bad thing. It depends on the nature of the thing to which we are becoming accustomed.

Consider 1 Peter 4:3-4.
For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.

These verses say that people think it is strange when you don’t become accustomed to the moral climate of the world around you. And because they think it is strange, they will speak evil of you.

True acclimation occurs when we expose ourselves to something just a little bit at a time. If you’re introducing fish into a new body of water, you have to go slowly. You can’t put them in 50 degree water if they’ve been in 70 degree water. If they’ve been in 70 degrees and you want them in 50 degrees, you have to first get them in 68 degrees. Once they’re used to that, 66 degrees, and so on.

This is how Satan works on us. Rarely does someone jump full-fledged into a life of sin. Our brains don’t work that way and he knows it. We are presented with just enough to desensitize us, and then we’re willing to go to the next level. We acclimate.

But there is another side to the coin. It’s not all negative. Just as we can acclimate to doing evil, we can acclimate to doing good. It requires baby steps. That’s how true acclimation works. If you have a devotional time of five minutes once a week, try six minutes once a week. Then, seven minutes once a week. Then, four minutes twice a week. Then, five minutes twice a week, and so on.

We acclimate. We can acclimate to evil and we can acclimate to good. There have been some studies which suggest that it takes a person about a month to acclimate to a new practice. Tomorrow is April 1 st . Why not decide on acclimating to something good this month? (And just because it’s April 1 st , God won’t be fooled. He’ll know if you follow through.)