In recent months I’ve been thinking a lot about habits. This started with listening to “The Power of Habit”, and then “Atomic Habits” in audiobook form. Both excellent books emphasise the need for us to create habitual routines in our lives that can be done subconsciously without much thought.
The idea of habits is very important to me because as a Christian I realise that my time as well as energy is limited. Because of this, my life has to have a purpose, or focus on what’s actually important.
Sadly that is easier said than done……
That doesn’t mean I don’t know the things that are truly important in life, instead I just become distracted from them.
My purpose in Barrouallie revolves around things like:
- Engagement, or relationship development
- Outreach programs: prison ministry, reading ministry
- Evangelism: passing out tracts, sharing the Gospel, an evangelistic study
- And Discipleship: Visitation, bible reading ministry, ministry training
But I often find it hard to invest myself in these important things. This isn’t because I’m lazy, but because Satan wants to distract me from them. He would much rather I put time and energy in other good, but less important things.
This where habits come in….
It is possible to create a series of habits based on the important actions. Over time through repetition this will train my minds and will-power to automatically do a series of actions without even really thinking about it.
The foundation of creating a habit is simple but not easy.
Know what comes next….and do it
James Clear in his book “Atomic Habits” explains one exercise with developing habits he calls a “habit loop.” It lists specific actions with a clear starting, and end.
A Habit loop for evangelism for instance may look like this:
- After I pack my backpack I will grab my bible, and some tracts
- After leaving the house, I will pass out tracts to everyone I see
- After passing out tracts, I will spend some time near the park interacting with others
- After interacting with others, I will visit church members, or unsaved friends
- After visitation, I will read Scripture with an older saint
- After reading with an older saint, I will go through a Bible study with an un saved friend
Obviously this helps by having clear steps on what comes next. After this, the focus is about repetition or Clear calls it in “Atomic Habits” “showing up.” Each morning I follow that habit loop it will become easier and easier to do whats important.
Satan knows that each of us have a specific calling from God to accomplish in our lives. He loves nothing more than to distract us from that calling with things that are good, but not what is best for us.
Because of this, we must reject a life that revolves around what seems important. And instead build habits that center on Gods purpose for our lives.