Habit: Friend or Foe?

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“I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command. “

This is a stanza from the well-known “Habit Poemwhich touches upon the hidden powers of something we all have in our lives: habits.

Other versions remind us that habits can “make us or break us,” “help us or hurt us,” “strengthen or weaken us,” etc…

The types of habits each person has varies greatly. Typically, habits are either good or bad. Which type we choose is up to us. Habits usually produce consequences. Whether those are healthy and beneficial, or downright disastrous and detrimental depends on what our habits are at a given point in time. The good thing is that if we have fallen into bad habits, we can seek God’s grace to overcome them, and replace them with good habits.

A popular Christian author wrote a book about food and love. The premise of his book stated that all human behavior is typically connected to food/eating and relationships. Further, these categories are often intertwined and affect each other. Basically, we become what we eat and with whom we associate. (Beyond “with whom” we associate, “how” we relate is also significant.)

Is your life filled with bad habits? Smoking, excess alcohol intake, eating processed sugar and factory-produced foods as a means of comfort or obtaining the majority of your food intake at a drive-thru window? Has your lifestyle become sedentary? Is your free time filled with brainless twaddle? Is the majority of your interaction with other human beings taking place online? What types of human beings do you associate with? Do they encourage you to live a godly life? Are they supportive and do they have good habits?

For every bad habit listed above, there is an opposing/restorative good habit! Instead of smoking or over-imbibing alcohol, why not get into healthy snacks and drinks, instead? Replace a sedentary lifestyle with prayer and exercise. Rather than hours of mindless scrolling of memes and Hollywood gossip, read Scripture or classic literature, work word or number puzzles that strengthen your brain, or try your hand at writing poetry or stories of your own! And, instead of spending hours in an online chat room or texting, share a cup of tea and a conversation with someone in person. Be a good friend, spouse, parent, neighbor to others.

The habit poem is true. Your habits will help you or hurt you. The choice is yours. How will you define your life from this point forward? What habits will you keep? Which ones need to go? What new ones will you develop? Life is a gift. Habits can help you live it well or bring you to ruin. Choose carefully!

Writer Bio

Judy DudichJudy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.

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