Habits

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Acts 17:2 “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,”

When the verse above says, “as his manner was,” it is saying that Paul’s habit was to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath. No doubt, from Paul’s childhood, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath, and he continued this habit when he became an adult. Nobody had to ask where Paul was on the Sabbath because they knew that he would be in the synagogue on that day. The only thing that changed in Paul’s life was that he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath to teach the Scriptures after he got saved.

Everybody has habits; some of them are good and some of them are bad. There are people who have destructive habits that they don't seem to break, and there are others who have constructive habits who are building a good life for the LORD. The fact that everyone has habits should cause you to desire to make sure that you build good habits in your life and in your children’s life. Habits define who you are and what you will become in the future. Habits dictate your tomorrow. If you don't want your tomorrow to be filled with heartache and sorrow, you would be wise to make sure that you build good habits in your life. The question must be asked, how do you build good habits?

First, habits start with decisions. Good habits are created by making good decisions, and bad habits are created by making bad decisions. The power of your decisions can never be over-emphasized because those decisions dictate what your habits become, and your habits dictate today’s actions which determine your consequences of tomorrow. The quality of your tomorrow is dictated by the decisions you make today that establish your habits for life.

Second, habits start with the first action. If you don’t want to become what the first action is, don’t do it. Just as much as decisions impact your habits, so do your actions. Many people think that doing something one time won't hurt them, but every bad habit has been created by doing wrong the first time. If you don't want a bad habit started, don't do the actions one time that would create that bad habit. If you want to have a good habit in some area, start doing the action that it takes to have that habit because every habit starts with the first action.

Third, purposely do the action by schedule so that it becomes your habit. You don't make good habits by accident; you make good habits on purpose by scheduling the actions that create the habit into your life. To make a habit of going to church whenever the church doors are open, you must put the church services into your schedule to make this happen. Nobody has established good habits by accident; they established good habits by scheduling the actions into their life that created those habits.

Fourth, continue the action day after day until it becomes a habit. They say that it takes twenty-one straight days to make a habit. I don't know that this is true, but I do know that doing an action daily for weeks is what makes it a habit. Some good habits are harder to establish, so it may take a little longer, but the fact that you must do the action daily is what is important if you want to establish good habits in your life.

My friend, habits have consequences. If you want to live a joyful life, make spiritual decisions in your life and you will find that you will establish good habits.

Dr. Allen Domelle


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