Webster's new World Dictionary, Concise Edition (1960) lying open on a desk

Inveterate: Wednesday Words

If I tried to guess what inveterate means by looking at its parts, I would come up with something like “not a veteran”. Not quite right, I’m afraid.

Inveterate: 1. firmly established over a long period; deep-rooted. 2. settled in a habit, practice, prejudice, etc.; habitual (From Webster’s New World Dictionary, Concise Edition ©1960).

My dog has an inveterate tendency to expect her bedtime treat at 8:30 every evening. If I lose track of time, she does not! How does she know what time it is??? I have no idea.

Dog looking up waiting for something

I inveterately enjoy a hot cup of coffee with flavored creamer each and every morning.

Inveterateness requires no thought or preparation. It just happens when we live on autopilot — it’s what we’ve always done, making it familiar and easy!

That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right thing to do.

Mr. Jones infuriated us once upon a time, and the resentment settled in to become a permanent fixture in our hearts over the years. We can’t even remember what he did or said that upset us way back when, but the emotion is inveterate.

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Jesus, in Matthew 6:14-15 NLT

Great Grandpa raised Grandpa, who raised Pa, who raised us with the firm mindset that _________________ are not to be trusted. It’s so engrained that we don’t even realize the filter we see that certain people group through. The whole lot of them is written off due to inveterate prejudice.

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

Jesus, in Matthew 7:1-2

Old habits are hard to break, it’s true. When we become aware of inveterate negative thoughts and emotions, it’s time to break the cycle!

But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him . . . Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

Colossians 3:8-10, 12-15

Look over the above list carefully. What is one negative inveterate behavior that you struggle with, and what is one habit you can begin to build in its place?

Pray and ask God for the strength to break away from the old and put on the new. Transformation is a process, so be patient with yourself as you grow in grace.

Praying for you, friend!


Check out Wednesday Words to find out about my vocabulary expansion project, and join along!

Write a post using the word “inveterate,” then put a link to your post in the comments below. I’d love to read your thoughts!

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