The choices you made already this morning - the decision to start the day with coffee or orange juice; with a jog or a prayer or the morning newspaper; to brush your teeth, take a shower, or use deodorant; the route you took to work this morning; whether or not you listened to music in the car; or wore your seat belt - all of these were most likely not conscious choices - but based on habits.
Habits are the choices that all of us deliberately make at some point, and then stop thinking about but continue doing, often every day.
Habits (especially bad habits) emerge without permission. Studies show that most families usually don’t intend to eat fast food on a regular basis, but after a few busy days and hungry mouths to feed a once conscious decision becomes the routine.
You bite your nails when you are nervous.
buy a new pair of shoes when you need a pick-me-up.
turn on the TV when you walk in the door.
have a drink to relax.
smoke a cigarette to calm your nerves.
Before long we stop thinking about these choices. They become the routine of our lives. And these patterns are very hard to change.
Habits aren’t destiny.
Life doesn’t always have to be this way.
These patterns can change.
You can change.
But a habit can not be eradicated, it must be replaced. Unless you deliberately fight a habit - unless you find new routines - the pattern will unfold automatically.
This is why the apostle Paul tells us "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." - Romans 12v2
Our habits, patterns, and routines have been formed in a world away from God and the key to renewing our minds, our hearts, our relationships and our world is by cooperating with the Holy Spirit in developing new habits to bring our lives into harmony with the kingdom of God.
It is your habits - the choices you make either consciously or subconsciously every day - that determine the outcome of your life.
Who you become.
The impact you have.
The mark you leave on this world.
Will be determined by the habits of your life.
It is the habits of your life that determine whether you will be person who flourishes or a person who languishes.
You can follow along with the series by tuning into the Gateway podcast or by joining us on Sunday mornings.