Creating Holy Habits

There is no doubt that we are creatures of habit. We get into a routine, maybe even a rut and we continue along that path. But sometimes we want to get out of that rut and make improvements or changes in our lives. Unfortunately, we generally do not do well in this regard. We make New Year’s Resolutions about what we want to change in our lives, maybe in the form of goals for what we wish to accomplish during the new year. Before long we usually fall back into our old habits.

I am not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. I believe that if I see something in my life that needs changing, why wait until January 1 to start implementing those changes? If you do a Google search on New Year’s Resolutions, you will find list after list of suggested resolutions. I don’t like these lists. While they may be somewhat helpful in identifying some areas needing improvement, I think that I (or a close friend or relative) know better than anyone else where I need to make improvements. 

There are keys to helping you achieve your goals. I would offer five important steps in regard to achieving resolutions

  1. Plan – Make your resolutions specific and have a plan on how to achieve the goal.
  2. Limit – Don’t try to tackle too much change. Too much, and you might get overwhelmed and do a “crash and burn.” Maybe undertake one goal at a time. Add more goals as you progress. You don’t have to finish one before starting another. 
  3. Accountability – Have an accountability partner who will help keep you on track. It also helps to keep a journal to see how far you have come.
  4. Process – Remember that achieving a goal is a process, it won’t happen overnight. If weight loss, for example, is your goal, it took time to put on the extra weight, It will take time to lose it.
  5. Adapt – Don’t be so rigid that you don’t make adjustments to the goals when necessary. This will entail a periodic review of how you are progressing toward your goal.

Part of developing habits is to become more proficient at a task. Being regular in the habits of life is a good quality to establish. If you want to run a 10K road race, you will need to train, to regularly hit the roads so you can run the distance and run well. If you are trying to lose weight, it is not something you can casually pursue. You must be faithful in your diet and exercise routine to improve your health and well-being. Habits can be good or bad. It is good that I exercise, to keep my body healthy. However, a drug habit can be destructive. 

But good habits are for more than our earthly existence. I Timothy 4:8 tells us “for bodily training is just slightly beneficial, but godliness is beneficial for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

The habits of a holy life is one area in which Christians should become a regular part of their lives. This world, and our lives are made for regularity. There is a growing season for crops. Birds fly south in the fall. We can predict the tides, the rising and the setting of the sun. June – November is hurricane season in Florida. 

Regularity in the habits of the holy life should be cultivated. Bible study, prayer, giving, and church attendance are all a part of learning from the Holy Spirit how to be dependable, faithful, unselfish, and Christlike. 

I remember vividly the events of September 11, 2001. I was in my office at school, preparing for a class when I began seeing news reports of the attack. As a result of that event, many people prayed and attended church. Alas, the newfound religiosity was short-lived for many as most returned to their previous habits. With the help of the Holy Spirit our lives can become holy (wholly) regular. 

In reading the Old Testament, one can readily see how regularity is ordained by God. There are detailed procedures for the priests in the temple. Even the Genesis account of the Creation indicates that God’s creation was brought about in an orderly manner. I Corinthians 14:40 reads “Let all things be done decently and in order.” God obviously gives great value to order and regularity. 

Why not make time to evaluate your habits, especially Holy Habits.

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