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Sabbath: The Habits of a Steward — 5 Comments

  1. Matthew 22:37-38
    37Jesus replied: "'Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
    38This is the first and greatest commandment.

    Jeremiah 29:13
    13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

    By God grace and love for each and every one of us we can learn to develop our first step is to seek God. Now this is a good habit. A habit that can be grown from a little seed and eventually it comes to maturity.

    Amen!(13)
  2. The words of God advices us on what we have to be doing inorder to form good habits.It is not easy if we be accustomed to do contrary to its advice. But we can persevere and form those habits which are for our good. God's biddings are enablings.

    Amen!(7)
  3. Healthy habits don’t just involve drinking all natural green, yellow, and red smoothies daily, they are formed by a daily dose of putting God first, looking for the Lords coming, budgeting time wisely, maintaining health in the body, mind, and soul, and garnering self discipline. I recently read about the happiest country in the world. Finland. Seventh-day-Adentist are the happiest Christians in the world. Happiness is good medicine. Now I do also believe all natural green, yellow, and red smoothie, and cutting back on the high free radical foods keeps our temples in better shape for God to dwell in. This all goes hand in hand with forming a good character, and being good stewards.
    Happy Sabbath!

    Amen!(6)
  4. If we are trying to form good habits, we must evaluate first. Are there bad habits that need changing? This may be more challenging than one might think. We go about life on a daily basis as usual, and see little if anything wrong. The answer seems to be Prayer. Asking God to help us in making good choices. A text that says there is none good no not one, Psalms 53:3 seems applicable here. We have many of the same distractions that we see with most of our problems.

    Amen!(6)
  5. I would like to offer some additional insight regarding habits IN GENERAL that may help someone who may be struggling with habit development/change in a certain area this week.

    You cannot get rid of a habit. You can only progressively develop a more preferred habit. Habits that are not used become 'dormant' (yes, like a volcano). If you happen to encounter the right convergence of conditions, the habit will be reawakened - meaning it will once again be re-presented to you as an 'impulse'. If this happens, be informed rather than horrified. It doesn't mean you have 'failed', its just unfortunately part of how things work within a fallen world. And that is not an excuse, its an explanation.

    Habits are formed by repetition - not by decision alone. You can decide/intend to form a new habit all you like, but unless you practice it over and over and over it will end up like most New Year's resolutions.

    It is actually a myth that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. This finding was for one particular research project involving development of a relatively simple habit and it got promoted to the point where it is widely believed. The truth is that it depends upon the particular habit you are trying to develop and whether or not it is competing with any previous habits you may have developed. It might take 21 days, or it might take considerably longer.

    Sometimes developing a new habit is relatively easy. At other times habits are much, much harder and take much, much, much more intentional effort - and possibly discomfort - to develop. As humans, we have a tendency towards consistency rather that towards change.

    God will provide us with the strength to persevere to develop the habit, He won't develop the habit for us. Why? Because habit development is a big part of character development - or more accurately, character re-development. This is a progressive process that is the work of a lifetime. God can't 'implant' or 'download' a character into us - it has to be developed because it is a huge part of our individuality. Adam and Eve had to develop their characters after God created them. And Ellen White points out that even Jesus had to develop a character while He was on earth (DA 762). Developing a character from scratch is hard enough, re-developing is even harder. Don't be discouraged, but also don't get down on yourself if you find it hard going. Press into God instead of getting down on yourself, drawing upon His strength (Phil 4:13) and following Paul's example in Phil 3:12-14.

    Because habits are driven by the subconscious, as the lesson points out, you don't think about doing them, you just do them. Trying to not repeat a detrimental habit by willpower alone works for some people, but not for most. Researchers have identified that 'pre-commitment' is more powerful for most people than willpower. This finding is not surprising because it matches the nature of subconscious behaviours - they are "cue-activated automaticities". This means that when your subconscious detects that you have come into contact with certain 'cues'/triggers, it will automatically select and present a response for you to carry out. You will experience these responses as 'impulses' of varying intensity from mild to wild!

    An important part of pre-commitment involves identifying the environmental cues that trigger you to respond in a certain impulsive/habitual way and, to the extent that is possible, modifying the environment so that the cues/triggers are not so easily encountered. It is even better if you can 'cue' your conscious to be activated as this will give you the ability to 'stop and think' rather than just 'instinctive/reflexively' continue subconsciously down the old path.

    A simple example of modifying the environmental cues might be putting that chocolate in a less accessible place or possibly even removing it from your environment altogether (don't worry, you won't die if you do this - even if you think/feel you might!). A more elaborate example that engages the conscious is to write a brief note to yourself and place it on top of the chocolate box. This note would say something like:

    Dear (your name). If you are seeing this note, it is because your subconscious thinks it would be a really good idea in this moment to eat this chocolate because it believe that if you do, you will feel so much better. And perhaps I will feel better for a moment, but at the same time I will also start to ... (list the follow on consequences you know you experience). I can go ahead and eat this chocolate, but I can't do that and have the bits I like and not have the consequences I don't like. Or I could instead go and .... (some alternative behaviour that doesn't have the undesirable consequences). While I am free to choose either option, I am not free to avoid the consequences of that option. My choice is to ...

    This does not mean you won't choose the detrimental option - but it increases your possibility of resisting that option in favour of a more beneficial option because you have engaged your conscious. Our conscious was designed to be a 'gatekeeper' of our subconscious where our impulses are paused and consciously thought about and assessed. A good question to ask yourself at the 'gate' is, will this impulse take me closer to or further away from what is most important to me in my life - as opposed to in this moment where comfort may well feel like it's your highest priority. Paul's gatekeeper criteria is spelled out in Phil 4:8.

    I hope the above information is of use and encouragement to someone. Keep in mind that these are general principles that likely have at least some relevance to most people in most situations. However, in other situations, more specific information may need to be sought out.

    Amen!(35)

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