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Religion: Habits

By Pastor Phillip Howle

web posted January 6, 2016
COUNTY- I have not written an article in a few weeks. Do you want to know why? I got out of the habit of doing it. My routine was to weekly devote and hour to writing the column on Monday mornings before Good News Club. This was ingrained in my schedule for the past six years of writing for Edgefield Daily, but I missed a week, then I missed another. Then I recycled a column from a few years back. Then I did not even notice that I did not write one, because the holidays came went. A good productive activity for me, writing and prayerfully beneficial to others was lost because I broke a good habit. 
Habits are powerful. There is a good book called “The Power of Habit:  Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg”. His thesis is that we can achieve significant change only if we n 1. Remove habits that prevent us from achieving our goals and 2. Begin new habits that support our goals. This is simple enough right?
Look at your life right now and be honest what habits do you have that are working for you? Church attendance, Bible reading and prayer, fitness, living below your means, a healthy marriage, etc. Protect these habits. I know many people whose walk with Jesus has suffered greatly because they broke the habit of church attendance. They did not mean to, they just for whatever reason missed three weeks in a row. They say it takes 30 days to build a habit, well it takes a three weeks to lose a good one.
Also be honest what habits are hurting you? Drinking too much, too much time on social media, unproductive thought patterns, spending out of control, diet out of control, etc. Breaking these patterns will take time and perseverance. What you have spent years doing over and over will not break easy in a few days!
We could almost say that who we are as a person is the sum total of our habits good and bad. Jesus had many habits that were healthy and productive. Throughout the Gospels, we’ll read that Jesus did something “according to His custom.” We’ll read Jesus went off to prayer or to the synagogue and then the phrase, “according to his custom” would be added. It was just what Jesus did each day.  Jesus had the habit of prayer or the habit of going to the synagogue to worship. Jesus had habits that kept Him close to His father.
Proverbs 25:28 says that “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” This means you are left without anyt self-defense. You are saying yes to everything and this comes with a great price.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says that “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” So be encouraged that if you want to drop these bad habits, that you have the full resources of heaven behind you! God will always provide the way of escape, but will you take it?
So let’s be honest now and ask: What are the things we are doing that are keeping us from being more like Christ? Stop doing them. Then what habits do we need to develop to become more like Christ? Start doing them.
If you want to make 2016 a great year, then lets drop to old and bring in the new! Sorry to take a break from writing, I’m getting back in the habit! Focus on Titus 2:12 “Training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,”
Pastor Phillip

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