My “Three Nevers” Of Good Habits

Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him (Romans 12:1).

Habits should always be motivated by loving Jesus. Anything that you do from joy will be easy to continue.

Bad habits can become addictions spiraling out of control.  

Good habits can be the source of great blessing.

We all have habits, as God has made us for patterned behavior. God uses habits for His glory while Satan subverts to his delight.

I have three habits. I call them my “nevers.” 

I never have a day without prayer and Bible reading!

I never have a day without physical exercise!

I never have a day without speaking blessings to others!

Confession:  I do have days without prayer and Bible reading, physical exercise, and speaking blessings – but I feel so bad, it’s easy to start again.

I love to pray and read my Bible. I love to exercise. I love to speak blessings.

I place each habit in my schedule and guard that time! I have many temptations for meetings that encroach on my habits. Others make demands, and I have busy days. But I’m brutal with guarding my relational, physical, and spiritual health.

Of my three “nevers,” the one in which I have the most difficulty is “speaking blessings.” Every morning before I get out of bed, I quote Ephesians 4:29:

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear (Ephesians 4:29).

My “never” have a day without speaking a blessing…

When I go to bed, I review my conversations of the day. Often, I’m critical, reactive, or self-centered, and I confess this. I find interaction with God at the end of the day changes me. More and more I listen to others, asking the Spirit for my next words, and not quickly interjecting my opinions.

If I do speak a blessing, I experience joy – and it is addictive. Speaking blessings brings peace.

My “never” have a day without exercise…

I had a dream day of exercise recently. Moderate temperatures, little humidity, sunshine, and 32 miles on my bicycle. I found myself thinking at mile 20, “Wow!”

That’s it, just “Wow!” Nothing Henry David Thoreau or even of the Psalms, just contentment. Having days like that makes exercise easy.

My “never” have a day without praying and reading my Bible…

I’ve struggled a bit with this lately.  

I’m busy. I write an Interruption every morning. I can let the worries of the day begin my day with a “to do” list. However, I’ve had this struggle before and the Spirit always draws me back.

In learning the joy of my “nevers,” I refuse guilt after failure. I turn to God and find the grace that motivates me the next day.

What are your “nevers?” Do you have faithful habits through which God molds you into the image of Jesus?

The Apostle Paul says to all of us at the end of Romans…

Now all glory to God, who is able to make you strong (Romans 16:25).

Never, never, never!