Habit. It might be defined this way: “an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary” (Dictionary.com).
Once in place, habits are powerful. Yet, they can be weakened, broken, and changed.
So, as the New Year begins, it might be a great time to step back and take a fresh look at your habits. Celebrate the good habits, but identify clearly the bad ones as well.
This process, as Gordon MacDonald puts it, involves “a frank assessment of one’s shortfalls, an acknowledgment before God of their existence, and a serious intention to correct the wrongs” (The Resilient Life, p. 64).
Then what? As you consider the bad habit, take these steps.
- Face it.
- Name it.
- Renounce it.
- Replace it.
This process – a biblical word for it might be “repentance” – is integral to the shaping and development of our character.
It is best done in the power of the Spirit, informed by the Scripture, and with the encouragement and accountability of other believers.
So, if you want to have a better New Year, focus on your habits.
“Sow a thought, and you reap an act;
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, and you reap a character;
So a character, and your reap a destiny.”
I’m praying the Lord’s favor for you and me in this New Year!
Your Pastor and Friend,