Good habits in life are very powerful things to establish. Those who have good habits find it easy to do the right thing and get things done. They are less likely to be cluttered with incomplete projects or messes that get in the way of progress. They are less likely to be living with damage from past mistakes.
Maintaining things, such as a tidy house, well-kept yard, serviceable car, equipment, etc is something that should be a habit. Routine tasks each day ensure things are tidied and readied for the new day.
Sadly, there are bad habits which we can fall into too, such as being lazy, leaving messes for others to clean up, leaving projects to the last minute, choosing to put aside responsibility if there is a chance of pleasure tempting us.
I titled this lesson ‘Life Habits’ because there are habits which produce good quality of life and habits that can be destructive. Maybe they should be called ‘Death Habits’.
Wise parents teach their children to have good habits and to become free from habits that are destructive.
So let’s list a few of the good habits. Smiling. Being Kind. Being Thankful. Showing Respect. Sticking with a task until it is done. Tidying when a task is finished. Fixing things that are broken. Being Honest. Being Generous and Caring. Doing tasks as early as reasonable. Being Friendly. Obeying Instructions. Being teachable. Being Humble. Listening to Others. Being Diligent. Doing what is right, even if it gets you into strife with others. And there are many more that could be listed.
I wish I had been better taught to keep up with a number of those things.
Many of these are given in the Bible.
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people.” Romans 12:8
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5
“Let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” James 1:19
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
These are the good habits that enable a person to perform well and navigate life without piles or rubble littering their life. Sadly there are many today who have to live with broken dreams, broken relationships, lost opportunity, damaged potential and a poor track record, due to being selfish, lazy, distracted, foolish or filled with bad habits.
The most important habits, however, even more important than ‘Good Habits’, are the ‘Life Habits’. These are the habits that bring life from God into you and your situations. These habits not only get the best out of you, but they bring God’s favour and blessing on you as well.
It’s like two runners in a race, both with highly trained bodies, strong in will and keen to win. Both have equal ability to win the race. Then one of them gets a breeze blowing them along. That is outside their ability, but it helps them get the best out of their pace. They are soon in the lead.
That’s what it’s like when God is on our side. We need to be serious and responsible about all the abilities and responsibilities God gives us, but we also look to God to provide help from outside ourself.
‘Life Habits’ put us in the place where God’s grace and blessing rest on us.
One such habit is to be righteous. When we are committed to godly living and doing what is right before God, even if others think we are foolish, we qualify for grace on us and our family. That doesn’t mean we will become a VIP or billionaire, but it means we have blessings money can’t buy.
“Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.” Proverbs 11:21
“I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.” Psalm 37:25
Righteousness has a major downside. It means we can’t join in the things which others seem to enjoy. We can’t do things that God regards as unholy. So our human selfishness may feel like it is missing out.
I recall the situation where there was a riot in a town and people were looting things from stores. The lawbreakers started the looting, but soon everyone else joined in. They saw it was an opportunity they would not get ever again and they put aside their conscience. Someone who is godly would refuse to take advantage of such a situation.
A key Life Habit is to live by faith. Faith pleases God and God’s people are to live their whole lives by faith in God.
“Without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever comes to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who keenly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
“The righteous live by faith.” Romans 1:17
When trials and struggles come, either in real circumstances or even just in concerns that settle on your heart, learn the habit of trusting God. Like King David you can assure yourself, “God has everything under control. I don’t need to fear. I will rest in confidence that God will work this out for me.”
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise. In God I trust. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalm 56:3,4
That habit alone will bring amazing life into your being. It is the one thing that brings eternal life into you, since we are saved by faith in Christ.
“By grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift, not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9
Forgiveness is another vital Life Habit, since if we don’t forgive we won’t be forgiven.
“If you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive yours.” Matthew 6:15
And Repentance is another essential Life Habit. That’s to turn away from the wrong things in your life.
“Jesus began to preach, saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17
And to receive God’s grace the Life Habit of humility is vital, since God gives grace to those who are humble, but He resists those who are proud.
“But God gives more grace. Therefore it says, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6
I urge you to stop any bad habits in your life, and to build Good Habits into your daily routines. Learn to do those things that give you success and hope, even if they are hard to develop.
But most important of all, develop Life Habits, those habits that bring God’s grace into your life. If you have messed things up already by past mistakes, then give your mess to God and let Him rescue you and give you a future filled with hope. Then go on to fill your life with those Good Habits that are Life Habits.