Habits. We all have them. Some are good, others bad, but most are such a part of our everyday rhythm that we barely even notice them. In his bestselling book ‘The power of habit’ Charles Duhigg submits that up to 40 percent of our day is a matter of habit.
If habits form such a large part of our day then surely we should be aware of the impact they have on our lives. For instance, if it’s our habit to walk to the local shop to buy a newspaper and we habitually pick up a bag of crisps for the walk home, we will eventually notice the impact of that habit on our waistline.
Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
If we want to be healthy human beings there are some essential habits we must have in order to function correctly. These core habits are so fundamental that without them we will undoubtedly suffer from mental or physical illness and if left unresolved could even lead to our death.
What are these essential human habits?
Healthy Sleep, nutritious eating and good social connection with other healthy humans.
However, as Christians we believe that there are some other essential habits that contribute to our spiritual wellbeing and thus our human wellbeing too.
As a church we have taken a journey to organizational health, embracing a new vision and mission, and as a part of the process, we have incorporated a discipleship program called Growth Track. Growth Track takes us on a pathway towards spiritual health, starting with what it means to be a church member in class 101. Then onto class 201, which is all about developing essential habits to be a healthy Christian. I will outline those habits here and I hope it helps to inspire and motivate you to take a deeper look at the Bible and implement these habits into your own life.
Even if you’re reading this and are not a Christian, I believe in the power of these habits to help you grow as a person.
Habit 1: Bible study and Prayer- A vibrant relationship with God is sustained through bible study and prayer. The study of the scripture helps us to know who God is and how we are supposed to fit into this great scheme of life. Prayer helps to give us a very real connection with God where we can communicate to God and listen for God.
Habit 2: Fellowship with other believers-
God never intended for us to go through life alone. Throughout the Bible, we see the importance of being in community. Being connected with people is really important for our mental wellbeing as well as helping understand where we fit in society.
Habit 3: Living a spirit-led life- Having close relationships with other people is only a part of God’s plan for our lives. He desires to be our most intimate friend. The very basis of being children is relationship with a parent. The very basis of Christianity is having relationship with our heavenly Father.
Habit 4: Giving of ourselves- The Gospel is the ultimate demonstration of Gods generous nature towards mankind. The Bible consistently teaches that God blesses us so that we may bless others. In doing so, we become less selfish and more considerate of others.
My hope and my prayer is that through developing these habits, we can truly make a difference in this broken world, where greed, selfishness, loneliness and anxiety seem to be the driving forces of our human behaviour.
Let’s change culture for the cause of Christ and see radical life change happen in all of our lives.