Habits are often thought of or viewed negatively. I mean, think about it – people have smoking habits, drinking habits, drug habits, etc. Sounds terrible, right? But what you may not realize is that we carry out habits all the time! Only difference, is that they’re the good kinds.
Do you eat breakfast every morning? Brush your teeth at least once a day? Take vitamins? Exercise? Maybe go grocery shopping once a week? These are all good habits. We just don’t realize it because we view them more as a survival of sorts, rather than as habits. We automatically do them without consciously thinking about it; like breathing, blinking, or even walking!
Something you may have noticed is that it’s quite difficult to break a bad habit. What we’ve been trying to do this month, is the opposite. We’re trying to help you build those good habits instead.
But why? What’s the reason for habits anyways?
We based this series off of the passages in Ephesians 4, verses 22 – 24, that say, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (NIV)
Despite our redemption through Christ’s blood, we are still only human and often controlled by the desires of our flesh. The call in this verse is for us to put off our old selves and to be made new, to become the new self – created to be like Christ.
So sure, you could say that the reason for habits is so that we can have a good life, or stay healthy. But I think we all know that’s not true. In reality, Jesus is the reason.
There is a series of verses in the first part of Philippians 2 that talk about being like Christ. The first few verses say this: “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” (Philippians 2:1-2 NASB)
Our mandate is to be like Christ. To make His joy complete.
It’s so clearly laid out in those verses, yet somehow we consistently miss it.
Christ emptied himself for us – the filthy, the shamed, the sinful – both in birth, having been made in human likeness, and in death, having sacrificed himself in order that we may obtain what once was unobtainable to us. That we may be the recipients of an unimaginable kind of love. That we may be redeemed. That we – the unworthy – may be challenged, commanded, and called to be like Christ.
Same mind, same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
So my question to you is this: will you join me in continuing to develop habits that further our pursuit to be like Christ?