Life is made up of daily habits. Our habits combine to shape who we are and who we will become. Habits are practices that we do repeatedly, often without awareness. Reflecting on our habits and then intentionally creating healthy habits is an important part of personal growth. Disciples of Jesus are those who discipline themselves to become like Jesus – in thought, word and action.
Here are five habits that I try to engage in each day:
1. Devotion – love, listen and obey.
This is the development of my spiritual life and it is aided by daily time reading and reflecting on God's Word, as well as spending time in conversation with God. This is THE most important habit and everything else flows from here.
2. Health – eat, exercise and rest.
This is the habit of personal health. Health is so important as it results in energy which enables me to carry out God's will and be a blessing to others each day.
3. Connection – love, listen and encourage.
Life is all about relationships. Each day I endeavor to connect meaningfully with my family and everyone I come into contact with. Each interaction, whether it be with a work colleague, a neighbor, a church member, or someone at the shop, is an opportunity to be of benefit to another's person's life.
4. Learning – think, read and apply.
The book of Proverbs exhorts us to 'get wisdom.' Wisdom is found in a person – Jesus Christ. We can gain wisdom from his Word and his Spirit, as well as the world he has created, including other people's learning and experience. Wisdom doesn't come with age but with the acceptance of responsibility and the commitment to 'live and learn' each day. As I am committed to continual improvement, I am able to help others do the same.
5. Enjoyment – laugh, play and relax.
This is the Sabbath principle. Life is not meant to be all work, tasks and activity. I need times daily to stop, or at least slow down, and enjoy God and his world more fully.
I don't always get these five habits. When I don't, I notice the quality of my life diminishes significantly. When I get them right, I notice the quality and joy of my life increase significantly.
I am thankful for God's grace which accepts me as I am but his grace also includes the power and ability to do God's will. He loves me too much to leave me as I am and therefore calls me to higher places in him. Daily habits are part of that journey.