Thursday, April 11, 2013

Forming Healthy Habits: Spiritual Life

The next few weeks I will be doing a series on forming healthy habits. Why you might ask? Because it's something I've been working on myself and this is one way to help me stay accountable. I'm a bit of a lazy person.. okay maybe not lazy, but yeah a little lazy. I try things like diets, exercise, bible studies with all the intention and motivation to complete them until the end. But let's be honest... that rarely happens! So far I've done 3 important things every day for the last week. I've been in the Word, I've run/walked/or hiked, and I have eaten healthy. So that's what I'm going to challenge you with too. Forming healthy spiritual, physical, and emotional/mental habits.

First and most important - is our spiritual habits. Our daily walk with God, our prayer time, and how we live and love others.

Daily time in the Word:
     This has always been one of the hardest things for me to do everyday. Whether I have time for it or not, I struggle with doing this daily. I don't know why... sometimes I don't have bible studies to do and don't know what to read. Sometimes I get busy or tired and forget. But here's some pointers that I have found helpful:
     1. Pick the same time everyday to be in the Word. Whether it's morning, lunch hour, or right before bedtime, choose the same time each day and work it into your daily routine. Make it a priority. Turn off the TV, get off the computer, stay off your phone and social media. Make your Bible, your priority.
     2. Get a book/bible study that applies to something you want to learn. I used to just pick a spot in my Bible and start reading. Yes, God can use anything in His Word to speak to you. But you are more likely to continue reading daily if you have a little bit of a guide. I am currently doing The Power of a Praying Woman (book and study guide) by Stormie Omartian and want to continue with Power of a Praying Wife and Praying Parent. It has challenged not only the way I pray but the way I think.
     3. Find someone to keep you accountable. I'm working on this. I need good friends to keep me spiritually accountable. I've been in different relationships where I'm the mentor and or I'm the mentee. I don't know where God wants me in this moment of my life, but I know that good friends who can keep you spiritually accountable in your actions, behaviors, and thoughts are a blessing.

     1. Prayer Journal A prayer journal as been a staple in my life. I can write out my prayers to God, keep track of the people and purposes I'm praying for. I can look back and see how God has answered prayers, write down verses that God puts on my heart, etc.
     2. Pray for Confession, Forgiveness, and Growth Another important component of prayer is confession and forgiveness. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9 Not only should we confess and ask forgiveness but
     3. Pray for others  We all know family or friends that do not know Christ and one of the biggest reasons to pray for others, is to pray for their salvation. But praying for health, healing, guidance, relationships for others is important as well.

The Greatest Commandments
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:37-38

     1. Serve Others Christ calls us to serve others and a great example of this is washing of his own disciples feet, the dirtiest part of their body in their time. So humble yourself and serve someone. Be willing to help others in way that they need it without expecting anything in return. Do something because you know your spouse loves it, even if you don't. Help your church in their service day. Give of your time because it's for the glory of God. Just make sure your heart is in the right place.
     2. Love Others Christ's second commandment is to love one another just as you love yourself. This is simple. Love people where they are at. Don't judge them, don't gossip about them. You don't always know their story and it's wrong to assume things about their lives. Just be there for your family and friends... love them, respect them, and pray for them.

Follow along with me the next few Thursdays as we develop more healthy habits.

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