When our lab was a puppy, we always made him sit while we poured his food into the dish.
He was able to control himself when he sat several feet away from his dish, but if he was right next to his food, the temptation was too great—he had to eat it.
The same principle holds true with transformation: if we wait until we’re smack dab in the middle of temptation to apply the truth, it will be hard to say no. We’re too close to the temptation.
That’s why it’s so important to prepare with truth before we’re tempted. This week I’d like to give you some examples of different ways you can prepare with truth depending on what your project is.
Today we’ll look at this approach with starting a habit projects. Here are a couple of examples of how you could prepare with truth before you’re actually tempted to skip your habit.
Starting a Habit
Prepare little cards you can look at whenever you don’t feel like doing your habit. These cards might contain Bible verses on them or simply statements of truth or motivation.
I do this with my to-do list. For the jobs I do every day such as writing, I’ve written up little blurbs to read that motivate me. Here’s an example of one of them:
While it might not be important for an on-the-ball person to do this job right away, it’s EXTREMELY important for me to do it because:
- I could put this off for the next 2 months without blinking an eye.
- It would REALLY be nice to finish this project!!!!!
- I need to hold all things with open hands, including this project – be willing to do anything for God!
I read this whenever I don’t feel like working on that particular writing job, and it motivates me to follow through on my commitment to write.
If you struggle with daily quiet times, you could use this same approach. Put an index card in your Bible with either Bible verses or truths you can read that will motivate you to read your Bible. Keep trying out different verses and truths until you find something that motivates you.
Then each day you don’t feel like reading your Bible, pull out your little card and read it. Hopefully, it will make you want to follow through on your commitment to have your quiet time.
If you’d like to give this a try, here are a few verses you could use for establishing a daily quiet time habit: Psalm 27:8, Jeremiah 29:13, Zephaniah 3:17, Zechariah 2:10, Matthew 22:37, Mark 8:36, John 8:31-32, John 14:26, John 15:4-5, Philippians 3:7-8.
Journal Exercise: Have a conversation with God using one or two of the above Bible verses. Write your prayer in your journal. If your project is starting a habit, prepare some truth you could use in a pinch to help you with your habit.
Click here for part two of this blog post.
Do you have any other tips for starting a habit or a consistent quiet time?
P.S. If you’re struggling with a bad habit, check out my iPhone app I Deserve a Donut. It has more than 150 Bible verses you can use to prepare your mind with truth so you can say no to your bad habit.
Loren Pinilis says
Great metaphor with your dog. I was just talking with a friend about this yesterday. You’ve got to put boundaries in place so that the warning lights go off early enough for you to change.
Barb Raveling says
Yes, that’s a good way to put it. I’m going to do another post one of these days on secondary boundaries.