The goal of the Christian life should be for most of our attitudes and actions to automatically come from who we are.

The goal of the Christian life should be for most of our attitudes and actions to automatically come from who we are.

 

Do you think Jesus had any habits? If so, what habits do you think Jesus had? Do you think Jesus had any bad habits? Not that Jesus had any sinful habits, but perhaps he was a nail-biter or slurped his matzoh ball soup. Maybe his mother had to remind him to not chew his food loudly when Uncle Zechariah and Aunt Elizabeth would come over for dinner.

Jesus’ habits

The Bible does mention several habits of Jesus. Luke 4:16 tells us that every Saturday Jesus had a custom, or habit, of going to the synagogue. We also know he had a habit of hanging out on the Mount of Olives, according to Luke 22:39. He was in the habit of teaching people, too, whenever crowds gathered, according to Mark 10:1. These were routines or patterns Jesus regularly followed.

What we automatically do

The word “custom” used in the verses above is ethos. It is who we are based on what we automatically do. It simply means what is normal for a person or group of people without having to think about it. We derive our word ethics from it. The same word is used in Hebrews 10:25 when it mentions some were in the habit (ethos) of not meeting together.

More than discipline

Habits are not instincts, though. They become automatic through accumulative action. Habits are made. But they are not just disciplines. Some people would say a good disciple is a well-disciplined person. I don’t think good disciples are undisciplined people, but something more than discipline is involved.

Who we are

Discipline is about training and controlling behaviors. Certainly this is part of Christian living. I wrote about that last week. At some point, though, attitudes, behaviors, and living into Jesus’ way should become part of who we are—an ethos should form. Jesus’ way of living should become our normal in more and more aspects of our lives.

Explore Further:

So how do we create these customs into our lives, like Jesus had? There is a lot of good research on the topic of habits. A few books you explore further online or at your library would be:

  • Josh Hunt, Break a Habit; Make a Habit
  • Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit
  • Joyce Meyer, Making Good Habits, Breaking Bad Habits
  • Philip Nation, Habits of our Holiness
  • David Mathis, Habits of Grace
  • Edwin Lutzer, Getting to No

Question:

How have disciplines become habits in your life?

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