Posted by: everynation | May 19, 2008

Habits

by Greg Mitchell

I think habits get a bad rap. They are tied to the ideas of being stuck, bored, or judged (by having to live up to their expectations). There is something about spontaneity, flexibility, and freedom from routine that seem so much more exciting, and much more like what we call “faith”.

This morning I was reading Spiritual Leadership, by Henry and Richard Blackaby. They quoted Peter Drucker who says that routine “makes unskilled people without judgment capable of doing what it took near genius to do before.”

As one who feels unskilled most of the time, I felt a connection with this quote. I have been discovering over these past few weeks a renewed appreciation of good habits. Habits clarify my commitments, focus my attention, free me from distraction, and express my love and faith. I think that we have done a disservice to habits, to contrast them creativity, faith and openness, for a good habit seeks to embrace these qualities, not replace them.

I have realized that when my priorities don’t become a habit, I don’t do them. I like how the NASB translates Ephesians 5:15-17: “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

Notice the connection between our time and God’s will. I simply can’t rely on spontaneous grace alone to keep me in God’s will, because the days are so full of evil. In need habits, things that are immovable, because some things that God has given me to do are just that important. This is a good kind of constraint, one that brings me life and joy.
So I thought that I should ask you what I have been asking myself, what things in your life deserve to become a habit? I pray that these habits would be an expression of faith and love, and that your life would become simpler as you do them.

Greg Mitchell is the senior pastor of Every Nation Vancouver and is the author of Pastor Greg’s Blog.

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