When I was an ESL teacher in Japan, I worked between two cities and was required to have an international driver’s license.
The Japanese are left-hand traffic drivers. Whereas in America, drivers sit on the left side of the car and drive on the right side of the road, it’s all reversed in Japan.
Learning to drive there wasn’t difficult for me; instead, unlearning it was confusing. When I returned to the States and started driving, I’d have spells of not knowing where I should be on the road, especially at intersections. It was terrifying sometimes and my disorientation lasted over a year.
Paul warns Timothy and the elders to avoid the false teachings of foolish myths and superstition and exhorts them to train themselves in godliness instead (1 Tim. 4:6-8).
Like the ease of my driver’s education in Japan, it’s easy to pick up nonessential behavior and ideas, including sinful habits. But the chore begins when we realize that we must eliminate them. Yet tossing away the hindrances and sin that easily entangles (Heb. 12:1) isn’t always simply done.
But God has given us the Holy Spirit. Our labor now is to produce the fruit of the Spirit, or the fruit of worship, in our lives. That isn’t entirely easy either—try your hand at patience—and we still get tempted. Yet the more we discipline ourselves…the longer we drive, the more we self-correct and the more the Spirit corrects us.
Paul says it best in Galatians 5:25: “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” In other words, just drive the way he goes.