Even if the new habit was formed earlier there will still be a critical point in the life of the habit.
That was the case for Daniel. About 400 years earlier King Solomon had suggested that if anyone was living in exile that they might pray facing Jerusalem. Daniel liked the idea and adopted the habit. So three times a day he opened his window and prayed toward Jerusalem.
So far so good…
Until a conspiracy was formed. Some of his colleagues simply wanted Daniel out of office. Who knows exactly why.
You’ll need to read the entire story in Daniel 6.
The point is Daniel had to decide if he was going to continue the habit. He could have prayed with the windows closed. But no doubt Daniel felt that to not pray as he always had would have been a betrayal against God.
How many of us consider our spiritual habits in a similar light?
Think about some of the basic habits we have:
You can add a few more perhaps. But how seriously do we take those habits? Yes, I realize that none of these bring instant gratification. Which can make it easier to let one slide.
But should we abandon those habits, would we consider it an act of betrayal towards God?
Daniel certainly did.
That’s why we read in Daniel 6:10, But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. (NLT)
Your spiritual habits matter.
But those same habits which strengthen you in the tough times, also cause you to betray God if you choose to abandon them.
Are there any spiritual habits you need to reclaim?
I have observed over the years that when marriages fall apart, there are typically a few common denominators.
For instance, in my last post I recommended a book, His Needs, Her Needs, that addressed the problem of not doing the positive things that need to be done in a marriage.
In the book I am recommending today, the focus shifts to the negative side. In other words, there are some negative behaviors that destroy romantic love.
Now that is not all that hard to figure out. If I yell at my dog, he cowers as if our relationship is suffering. So how can I expect an angry outburst in my marriage not to have some sort of detrimental effect?
To make matters worse, if I initiate a negative behavior, I am going to have to work extra hard to offset it with at least five positive behaviors. Perhaps that is why marriage is such hard work.
In our first house my brother came over to help me in the attic and stepped through the ceiling. It took more time and effort to repair the ceiling compared to the help he provided.
In marriage, our destructive habits are very hard to overcome. In fact, many stay in negative territory.
That is the issue Willard Harley addresses in his book Love Busters. While it is a great book, it won’t do you any good if you are not honest with yourself. I have watched couples have angry outbursts, and then deny it.
While it would be easy to simply list the destructive behaviors addressed in the book, my fear is that you might avoid the book.
But this is a book that any marriage can profit from. For some marriages it should be purchased right away. Get the book, read it, and Overcome the Habits that Destroy Romantic Love (Subtitle).