Striving for Good Spiritual and Physical Habits

Striving for Good Spiritual and Physical Habits

As we live our lives from day to day, there are actions or behaviors that become a regular part of our routine. These repetitive actions that we decide to do for ourselves become second nature and can develop into habits. These habits (physical or spiritual) can be good habits or bad habits depending upon the effect or the outcome that the action produces. To paint a clearer picture in our minds, we probably think of many habits that we perform daily and perhaps some of these actions we are not readily aware of because they have become second nature to us. For example, physically things like waking up at a specific time each morning, making our beds, brushing our teeth, exercising for a minimum of 30 minutes daily, showering or bathing daily and drinking 2 cups of coffee daily, etc… Spiritually, hopefully we have developed habits such as: prayer time when we wake up in the morning and before we go to sleep, I Thess 5:17-18 says to “pray without ceasing and in everything give thanks,” reading and studying the Bible daily, II Tim 2:15, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God,” attending our publicly scheduled worship services and Bible classes, Heb 10:24-25, “and let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching,” fellowshipping and communicating with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, Phil 2:3-4, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others,” practicing sound and wholesome speaking to whomever we approach, Titus 2:8, “sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you,” and sowing the seed of the Kingdom (spreading the Gospel of Christ), Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Also, see Matthew 13:3-9 on sowing the seed of the kingdom. Now, to aid our understanding of what a habit is and how to cultivate or promote good habits and eliminate or minimize bad habits from developing, we will discuss what a habit is and how they can develop good or bad. A habit is defined as a tendency toward an action or condition which by repetition has become spontaneous; a tendency or inclination toward an action or condition, by which repetition has become easy, or even unconscious, Webster’s Comprehensive Dictionary. In reviewing these definitions of a habit, it is important to point out that it is good when a good habit becomes second nature whether physical or spiritual but it is not good when a bad habit becomes second nature because it becomes a part of our blind spot and the danger in that is that we become subconsciously unaware that we are performing this bad habit. This is especially difficult when we have developed a bad habit and we have been doing it for many years. You have heard of the old adage that says, “old habits are hard to break.” As Christians, we should be undergoing a constant transformation or metamorphosis to be that mature man or women for God which means we are selfexamining ourselves and voluntarily eliminating any behavior that causes us to stumble and transgress, see James 1:20-21, “for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore, lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” This self-examination should be ongoing (daily) to prevent bad habits and those practices that lead to sin. Speaking of both physical and spiritual habits that are not good for us either way the word habitual comes to mind. Habitual is characterized by repeated or constant practice or indulgence. In other words, the repeated bad habit becomes like muscle memory or second nature to us, which is a grave danger leading to physical and spiritual destruction. To help further illustrate this point, if you have ever worked on a farm or visited one and have been around any farm animals at all perhaps you had the chore of cleaning the farm animals’ stalls or pens. Now there Is a certain smell that you must get acquainted with and what helps us in this process of getting use to the smell is that our nose will eventually habituate (accept and adjust) to the smell and it no longer is a bother to us even when we leave and come back on a regular basis. Similar to this example, when we practice or indulge in a physical bad habit such as chain smoking or alcohol this can result in cancer, high blood pressure and heart attacks. In our Christian lives, if we are repetitively practicing a spiritual bad habit such as profane language, lying, and fornication these behaviors can become habitual and can result in eternal separation from God. Consequently, we want to constantly nourish and renew our minds with God’s word and expectations and act on what we are receiving from God’s word not allowing our minds to become unresponsive and reprobate. The inspired Apostle Paul tells us to examine ourselves and to be aware of the bad habits that can show up in many forms, and we will highlight two scriptures to make this point: II Cor 13:5, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?— unless indeed you are disqualified.” II Tim 3:1-5, “But know this that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without selfcontrol, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away.” Unfortunately, many of the bad habits just described are being practiced by Christians who have obeyed the gospel and have been added to the Lord’s body and they are “religious” and are going through the motions, some may even attend once a week on Sunday morning, some attend occasionally because they are content with going through the motions because their minds have habituated to the sins they are committing before God. Fellow brethren, God does not want a half-hearted, casual relationship with each Christian, He wants our best which is 100% daily, see Rom 12:1-2, because if we do not, He will reject us on judgement day, II Thess 1:7-9. We must take a daily look at the physical and spiritual habits to ensure they are good, practical, beneficial, and acceptable before God and if there are bad habits, we need to eliminate them from our repertoire because they can cause us to lose our souls eternally. Our bodies belong to God, 1 Cor 6:20, “For you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”


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