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Good and Bad Habits
August 7, 2020
"I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right but I don't do it. Instead I do what I hate." 
Romans 7:15
They say it takes anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form a habit. The average person forms a habit in 66 days... a good habit, that is. Bad habits seems to take effect much quicker than that.

Think about it. You go to the gym every day for 90 days and it becomes a habit. You're on fire. You go on vacation for a week and when you get back your entire motivation to work out is gone. Don't be too hard on yourself. It's not a you thing. It's an everybody thing. 

The Book of Romans is a great place to start to understand Christian living. In fact, it is arguably the most important book in the New Testament because it gives us a clear explanation of Christianity....what we believe. 

Paul is a pretty important person in the establishment of the Christian church. He wrote about a third of the New Testament. Paul literally met Jesus on the road to Damascus, an experience that was life changing. Yet, Paul had his own hang ups and issues. He had a "thorn" in his side that is pretty famous. We don't know exactly what it was but we know it was bothersome to Paul. 

If Paul, who met Jesus in the flesh...
who heard Jesus with his hears...
who wrote a third of the book by which we live...
had issues with kicking bad habits. So will we. 

I'm pretty transparent about my struggle to stop cussin'. I'm from Appalachia so if you don't know what "cussin'" is, it is the use of profanity...bad words. I'm not a "mean" cusser. I'm not going to cuss you out and call you names to intentionally hurt your feelings. I am, however, an emphatic cusser.  

"Bring your ass in here" and "Please come here" do, in fact, result in the same action. However, the tone that each sets is completely different. My mother says that intelligent people don't use profanity. Well, my IQ testing qualifies me as highly intelligent and so....there's that. The truth is that it's a bad habit that I am trying to break. I can go weeks without a slip up. Then...one CNN breaking newsflash and %$^&#!!!  There I go again. 

I'm sharing this because things are tough right now and those of us in Christ are doing the best we can. The Good News— literally— is that God knew we wouldn't be able to do all the good things we desire. That's why He sent Jesus to deliver us from the sinful nature of the human heart.  

Good Habits Require A Mind Shift

If you want to form good habits, it's takes more than just 66 days of practice. It takes a changed mind. Romans 12:2 says, "Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think." The reason we stop working out after a week is because we don't really want to work out in the first place. We do it because we feel like we need to do it (and we do). The truth is I want to stop cussin' because I think I should. But really, I don't see much wrong with expressive profanity because I'm from Southeast Ohio... where Hillbilly cussin' is just a part of speech like nouns and pronouns.  As long as I'm not being hateful, deep down I'm okay with it. I need a mind shift to really kick this thing.

Bad Habits Can Change Your Heart

Some bad habits are to keep us humble and dependent on God. It's the thing with Paul's thorn in 2 Corinthians 12. As we grow in the Christian faith there is a tendency to start to judge others, to feel "better than" because we have made significant changes in our lives. We forget who we were before we met Jesus...until that bad habit creeps up. Then...we have a little more love for others in the struggle. God uses that bad habit to remind you that you're not perfect. He is. 

The good news about good and bad habits is that our salvation is not from works....it's not about what we do or don't do. Paul explains this to us in The Book of Romans. Our salvation is by the grace of God. God knew we couldn't follow all the rules even when we really want to follow them. 

I encourage you to read all of Romans 7 today. Paul is beside himself because of his bad habits. He cries out. "Oh what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?"  

"Thank God the answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord." - Romans 7:25
Who Can Be A Christian? 

The early Christians were not at all who you would expect.  Jesus hung out with people who were “suspect” so much so that the religious people of the day questioned him. In Mark 2:15-17, Jesus has dinner with a bunch of “sinners” and “tax collectors.”  When he is questioned, his answer is simple. “I didn’t come to call the righteous but the sinners.” Read More..

Stick to the Plan
It can be difficult and frustrating to navigate our faith while being a part of a family where everyone is not on the same page of the Bible or maybe they’re not in the book at all.  In John 7 Jesus’ brothers encourage him to go to Judea to the Jewish Festival. They told him to perform miracles for everyone to see so that He would become famous. They didn’t really understand their brother or what God had created him to do.  Read More...
 
Keeping It Real With God
Brokenness is the new normal. At least the multi-billion dollar self-help industry would suggest so.  We buy books. We watch videos. We attend conferences. We repeat positive affirmations. We think good thoughts. Finally, when we are desperate for relief,  and all out of options, we pray. That's when we need to keep it real with God. Read More...
SHINE TYC SHOPPE
Create new habits!  Get Atomic Habits by James Clear. It's extremely helpful for building new, positive routines and behaviors into your life. 
As an Amazon Associate Shine TYC earns from qualifying purchases.
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