Are you habit forming?
What’s your worst habit? What’s your BEST habit? As the old saying goes, “First you make your choices, then your choices make you.” Put another way, we are the accumulation of our habits.
I must be a sucker for habits, because I’m inundated with click-bait titles like, “3 habits to improve your gut health,” “2 habits to become a more effective leader,” “The 1 habit that will overcome procrastination,” and “4 habits to a more productive day.” (here’s an example from this morning)
Sometimes I succumb and click. I suppose you do as well. Because who DOESN’T want to improve their health, or become more effective, or productive, or minimize their undesirable qualities?
There’s a certain familiarity and comfort about habits, isn’t there? And sometimes there’s a hatred or loathing of habits we dislike. There’s even a kind of anxiety or trepidation about activities that may become “habit forming.” (Just read the fine-print on the prescription your doctor wrote for you.) But habits DO have their place. In fact, they have a very significant place. You see, habits are one of the fundamental means by which we access the grace of God, that grace that transforms us.
Here’s the question for all of us: What would make us look, think, or act more like Jesus? IOW, what is the one change that would produce desirable results in your life, from God’s perspective. I’m assuming that you’re like me, knowing that God isn’t finished with me yet.
Do you have an answer? Here’s where the habit comes in. Because the change we long for (and hopefully God longs for) is likely going to happen because of a habit. Habits have a way of changing us…or “forming” us.
- It might be setting 10 minutes at the start or end of your day to put down the smart phone and have a conversation with God.
- It might be writing down your thoughts and reflections on a passage of Scripture that you read.
- It might be a time of silent listening to what God is saying about your current life.
- It might be a time of praying for someone who is in need, or someone who is intruding into your life in unwanted ways.
- It might be a time of fasting (from food, treats, social media, etc.) in order to teach your appetites that they are not in control of you.
- It might be an intentional act of serving or generosity that you engage in.
The list is almost endless. And the change/benefit from these habits is quite remarkable. But the time to choose is now. Because your tomorrow is going to be determined by the choice you make today. Your habit selection is going to form you. What habit-forming decision will you make today?
P.S. If you’d like to learn more about habits that will help you become more like Jesus, I highly recommend Richard Foster’s, A Celebration of Discipline.