For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7a
I am a creature of habit. I love a good adventure but also love routines. You know, like this morning and every morning. I wake up (that one is definitely essential), head to my man cave office, have a cup of coffee, and take a glance at the weather on a local channel. Then comes more coffee, my time with God, then time with my wife Judy, exercise (well, at least some of the time), breakfast, shower/dress and start the day. Any change in my routine has the domino effect and the whole morning can get off course.
Habits can be really good or really bad. If it is a good habit, it keeps us on course doing the right thing. However, if it is a bad habit, it can lead to everything from a bad day to a bad life filled with consequences and regrets. One of the things most of can identify with is our eating habits. If we have a lifetime of poor eating habits, it can have dire consequences as we age. Smoking, drinking and drug abuse all are habits that can wreak havoc with our lives—and that is just the short list.
Habits can be changed. They say when you do something consecutively for 30 days it becomes a habit. In other words, if you start to exercise and can make it 30 days; it should be ingrained in you enough that you will continue it. If you start eating less sweets and hang with it for 30 days or so, well, they say it just might stick. I’m sure there is some truth to the 30-day thing but I also know that habits have to be maintained or else they can go to “habit” heaven.
The best way to maintain a habit is to do it. Sometimes, though, it seems nothing works. Let me tell you about something that I have battling for years…and still don’t have a solution. Now, hang with me! First, I spend a lot of time at the keyboard. Between writing sermons and writing blogs…I type a lot. So, as you probably know, when a person types a scripture reference it looks something like this–John 3:16. Well, I do all my sermons in Pages—a word processing program for Apple computers. When I save the file, it asks me to name it. So, by habit, I always name the file with the word Sermon followed by the reference–so it might look like this: Sermon – John 3:16.
And that, dear friends, is the problem. You see, Pages will absolutely not allow you to use a colon as part of the file name. Every time it slaps my hand and replaces the colon with a dash. So, the name becomes Sermon – John 3-16. As hard as I try, I just can’t accept the change. No, No, and No. So, Pages and I are at an impasse. I forget the colon thing and I do not like the dash thing. It is habitual battle that I fight every time I write a sermon. Try as I may…I can’t seem to break the habit.
The cause of this madness is simple and revealing. You see, all the other times I write a scripture reference I always use a colon. Consequently, it is reinforced in my brain to do the wrong thing when I save a file. Now in this case, I’m not sure what the answer is–do I keep beating my head against the wall when I save a file or learn to write the scripture reference in a new way. Who knows?
While this one is annoying, there are other habits in our lives that are destructive or at least unproductive? Is there a bad habit either consciously or subconsciously that you are consistently reenforcing? Are you finding yourself unable to get up early for an exercise or quiet time because of late night television viewing? Are destructive habits being fed by destructive reading or viewing habits? Hmmmm.
One thing remains sure–if we sow corn–we will reap corn. There is a small part of a verse from a very wise man that has a big truth. It says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” In other words, as long as we are feeding our brains the same thoughts and arguments—we will get the same results. If we want different results–we must do something different. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results–it just doesn’t work.
Well, the good news is that God wants to give us a hand. His Word is great handbook for life and if we will read and heed—we can, with His help, change. Remember those signs on the road that warn you of a sharp curve? They really can help us have a better day. So, dive into His Book and watch as things change. It may not happen overnight, and you might be tempted to throw in the towel but before you do remember two things. One, why you started in the first place and two, He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne