We live in a time where everyone and everything is fighting for your time. It is only healthy that we as Christians learn to develop healthy habits and be able to discern when we it is time to rest, to allow us some time to rejuvenate our minds, body, and soul.
Here are 6 habits every Christian should develop:
1. Go on a social media fast. 39,757 years of our time is collectively spent on Facebook in a single day according to Social Times. The effects of social media addiction are many but let me list just a few:
- Feeling anxious when not on social media.
- Feeling left out or lack of information (a lot of which is not pertinent information).
- Spending more time on social media sites than with those around your and/or daily life.
- Making excuses for why it is necessary for you to be continually connected or online (ei: it’s for work).
- It kills productivity and focus.
- It plants seeds of deception, insecurity. If you struggle with insecurity normally, social media will just magnify that insecurity.
- It is a relationship destroyer.
- It leads to depression, anxiety and impatience.
2. Rest. Our culture devalues the act of resting, it is seen as laziness. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns” (Exodus 20:8-10 NIV). This particular verse in Exodus tells us to “remember the Sabbath day,” meaning that it is important so we should not neglect or forget it. It also makes it clear that we are ALL to rest, not just some of us. Rest allows us to be more efficient in our work and relationships and helps us to make better decisions and to be more aware and present. Let's keep in mind the enemy knows he can hit us the hardest when we are not well rested; he is looking for any opening or opportunity to destroy.
3. Relying on God's provision instead of the lack of money. Monetary is not necessarily needed. God’s currency is not necessarily monetary; He also deals in favor.
4. Invest in your talents and callings. Are you investing in what God has blessed you with? Don't be like the third servant in Matthew 25:14-30 (NLT) “who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.” The master was not pleased with this servant, “the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’ You and I are here on earth for a limited time and what we do with our God given talents and calling is important. We need to invest! Investing in your talents and calling is delving into figuring out what they are, developing them and putting them to use to serve and edify others. Look for opportunities to develop and use the gifts God has given you. They are to be given away, not hoarded and buried in the backyard.
5. Living while waiting. We tend to stall and stand still while waiting for our next breakthrough or open door, but let's be honest breakthroughs are not as frequent as having to wait and be patient. We must learn to live while we are waiting. Remember the old quote that says, “life happens when you’re busy making plans.” Some of the most greatest experiences we have in life is in our everyday moments. These moments will be the ones we remember and relive in our minds when we are much older. [click-to-tweet]
6. Encourage yourself in the Lord. “But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” (1 Samuel 30:6 ESV) We spend a lot of our time encouraging and rooting for everyone else (which is what we should be doing!), but when it comes to encouraging ourselves we lack that skill. We tend to expect that others should encourage and root for us, but when that does not happen (as it often does not) we become disappointed, discouraged and disheartened.
“Think how you have instructed many, how you have strengthened feeble hands. Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees. But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged; it strikes you, and you are dismayed.” (Job 4:3-6 NIV)
What does it mean to strengthen yourself in the Lord?
- Reminding yourself of His promises and His goodness.
- Getting to know our God personally. To encourage ourselves in the Lord we must first know who He is; His word is a key place to start.
- Pray and cast your cares and burdens. Don’t be the hero instead allow God to fill that position.
- Check your thoughts and adjust them accordingly.
- Praise Him right where you are. Don’t wait to praise Him when things are good; praising Him in the depths of your distress shows where your true trust and faith lies.
- Press into His power to activate the power within you. Continue forward.
- Realign your focus. When you realign your focus, you realign your life.
- Acknowledge to yourself that He has heard you. We tend to assume that because something we prayed about in our lives is not currently evident, that God has not heard our prayers.
Don’t believe the lies and hype of the enemy. Abstain from jumping to conclusions as to how or what God is doing.