"The Interview" by Sony Pictures
No, this may not qualify as unusual, but my email account got hacked. A friend forwarded an email he had received “from me,” with a link that obviously wasn’t from me. So, I changed the password that I’d kept for a dozen years, with just a few minor, rememberable tweaks, into a longer more exceptional one.
So, for the last two weeks, 90% of the times I sign in to my email I use the old email password. Habits die hard. Before, I never needed to think; I habitually entered the correct password.
Habits can be helpful. My morning routine is to get up, stagger into the dining room and kitchen to turn on the thermostat and coffee, take a shower, and they’re both ready when I am. No thinking required. Today I woke an hour early, didn’t want my wife to have stale coffee and skipped that stage. But along with the coffee maker, I also forgot to turn on the thermostat. Not thinking was not so helpful.
Habits can hurt us. Like my password. Like the coffee today. We develop such an ingrained pattern that we don’t think. Sometimes, that causes us to lose.
That same dynamic operates in the spiritual realm. Because habits don’t require great brain power, they continue. Sometimes, we find it easy to cave in to the temptation of not thinking. Some spiritual habits benefit us—they keep us in the routine of building intimacy. A regular devotion time can do that. But they can also keep us in a comfortable rut that prevents us from trying new paths that work better. More significantly, they can also perpetuate patterns of acting and thinking that bring damage to our closeness to God.
This week’s post is a bit shorter than most. I’d like to open the reflection time, and give you more time to ponder habits.
Kick Starting the Application
What spiritual habits have you accumulated? Which bring benefits? Damages? How did you slip into them—intentionally or just by doing it? Do you need to change some habits? How do you plan to do that? Has getting an accountability partner helped you with this before? (By the way, my wife gave me a Fitbit a few weeks ago, I’m surprised how that’s helping me build new habits of walking more!)
I’ve also determined to keep a greater distance from some temptations. So far, I like the growing intimacy with God. Funny how those two are connected!