Sunday, November 05, 2006

Habits

I've heard it takes about 21 days to make, or break, a habit.

The American Heritage Dictionary gives many definitions of the word "habit". There are two that apply to today's theme:
  1. a recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition.
  2. An addiction.

I have been writing these Little Lessons for three weeks now, 21 days. I have missed one day in each of the three weeks. However, as I have said before it is OK to take a day off each week, right?

The most recent one I missed was yesterday. (Did you miss me?) :-) The thing that is different this time was that I had withdrawals yesterday. I really 'needed a fix', needed to write. I had many Little Lessons to share with you. (Hopefully I will be able to recall them all and share them with you over the next few days.)

I wanted to write, needed to write, but I did not have access to a PC all day yesterday. I feel that I missed out on something. I am sure that we both missed out on a blessing because my habit, my recurrent pattern of behavior that was acquired through daily repetition, was temporarily broken.

There are many good habits in life that we need to develop. Many good habits that, when we perform these habits, have a positive impact on other people. When we skip performing these acts, we all miss out on the blessings associated with performing that habit.

Let's look at some examples: Praying. When we "pray without ceasing" we improve our relationship with Christ and with others. When we only pray sporadically, we treat our Loving Lord more like Santa Claus (Lord I need, Lord I want, Lord please do) Bible study. When we are in the Word daily we receive daily nourishment and feed our mind with the things of our Loving Lord. When we are not in the Word regularly, we starve our souls and fill our minds with things of this world. Giving. When we give regularly, our Loving Lord uses those gifts to do His work and He has promised to pour out blessings when we do. When we don't give regularly, the Bible says we rob God.

What good habits do you need to spend the next 21 days developing? Do you need to find more positive things to comment on and suppress more of your negative thoughts? Do you need to set aside time each day to pray? Do you need to be more aware of what you are putting into your diet so that you are eating healthier? Do you need to spend more time in the Word? Do you need to follow a desire that God has put in your heart by doing a little thing each day that fulfills that desire?

Find someone to hold you accountable in developing that habit. Each of you hold me accountable in the development of my 'habit', especially Teena. (Thank you Teena!) Take the first step. The first few days are usually the hardest. Take it one day at a time but do it. Start today!

Hebrews 10:25 (NIV) Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

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