Habits And Change
- Resolutions Require Change, but it is Hard to Change.
- Doing Change God’s Way
- Last week we discussed willpower and change; today we will discuss habits and change.
I. God Made us Habitual Beings.
II. Godly Living Requires Breaking Bad Habits and Engineering Good Habits.
- Breaking and Building Habits (Romans 12:1-2)
- Bad Habits Enslave You (John 8:34-36).
- Habits Control Your Behavior (Roman 6:16-17).
- Don’t Be Mastered by Anything (1 Corinthians 6:12).
- Intentional Habits (1 Corinthians 9:26-27)
III. Biblical Examples of Habitual Behavior
- Prayer is a Habit (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
- Good Thoughts are Habits (Philippians 4:8).
- Church Attendance is a Habit (Hebrews 10:24-25).
IV. Behaviorally, Habits Consist of Three Parts: A Cue, a Routine, and a Reward (Craving).
V. Establishing Good Habits Eliminates the Necessity of Willpower.
VI. Bad Habits Cannot be Eliminated, but they Can be Modified.
VII. It Takes 21 Days for a Habit to Take.
- The Holy Spirit Does the Transforming of Our Character.
- Decide Ahead of Time How to Act.
- Limit Your Alternatives.
- Build Good Habits to Eliminate the Need for Willpower.
- Willpower is Best Used When Building or Modifying Habits.
- Start with “Micro-Habits” & Increase Later.
- Are You Doing Change God’s Way?
Last week we discussed willpower. Self-control is vital to Christian living and for making any change in our lives. However, we all have a love/hate relationship with self-discipline. Studies have shown that willpower is like a muscle; the more we use it, the stronger we get, but, like a muscle, it also fatigues and will fail. The secret to using willpower is to employ it in the creation and modification of habits.
God has created us so that we can automate routine tasks. Our brain creates automatic behaviors that consist of three parts: a cue, a routine, and a reward. When repeated over time they form habits. The way to use willpower to create or modify habits is to be intentionally mindful at one or more of these three stages and modify the cue, routine, and/or reward. Over time, with repetition, new habits are formed and old ones modified.
If we have the bad habit of angry outbursts. We understand the cue to be something that “sets us off.” By being mindful in that moment, we can intentionally modify our response. However, we must also modify the reward, by redirecting our catharsis in another direction. Over time we can transform this habit into something more positive. More on Sunday!
I hope you will join us! Joey