Mission and Vision Part 4: Become
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:2 (NASB95)
Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.Matthew 7:24 (NASB95)
This week we learned that our lives have a direction, a “Telos”, that is directed by our habits and regular rhythms. Lead Pastor Isaac used this phrase as a great reminder of how we are changed:
“What we do forms what we love and what we love forms who we are and who we are forms cravings for what we do which forms what we love which forms who we are which forms what we crave.”
Our daily actions are forming us into who we are. This should give us hope! We can actually change the direction of our lives (and the formation of our soul) by redirecting our daily actions and habits. When I was a young man, I would regularly spend time practicing and honing my skills on the baseball field. When I was 12, I came home from a particularly grueling practicing and reiterated to my father what my coach had said. “Practice makes perfect.” My dad, without skipping a beat, said something that would stick with me for the rest of my life:
“Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. Practice makes permanent.”
His point was that my patterns would be ingrained in my future. Practicing the wrong thing would not create the results I was looking for. The same is true for our regular habits and patterns – they are forming us!
A good place to begin is with a “Life Audit”.
Take a day from last week or today, and write down everything you did and how much time you spent with the activity. Your Life Audit may look like this:
- Checked Facebook and News App (45 minutes)
- Bible Reading / Prayer (30 minutes)
- Shower and Get Ready (45 minutes)
- Work (2 hours)
- Meeting (1 hour)
- Eat (30 minutes)
- Facebook/Instagram (30 minutes)
- Work (3 hours)
- Podcast on the drive home (20 minutes)
- Exercise (1 hour)
- Dinner (45 minutes)
- Watch TV and Facebook (1.5 hours)
- Bedtime Routine for Kids (30 minutes)
- Watch TV (1 hour)
- Read (30 Minutes)
It can be helpful to do this for several days to notice any patterns. Mark anything that is a regular practice (not just a one time event). You will have a chance this week to think about your regular patterns and habits. This practice can be fairly revealing. As a reminder, this is not designed to induce shame; rather it is intended to promote the realization that our habits and liturgies are causing us to BECOME someone. God loves you RIGHT NOW, not only when your habits and patterns are perfectly aligned. God is always inviting us into deeper relationship and further transformation. Are our activities creating a person who reflects the Holy Spirit? Paul reminds us of the fruit of those transformed by the Spirit:
“22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”Galatians 5:22-23 NLT
Here are a few questions for you to think about:
- Is there anything encouraging about your habits? Is there anything that is discouraging?
- How do you think that these habits are forming you?
- What habits are creating a person of love? What habits are creating something other than a person of love?
For the rest of this week, you will have a chance to refer back to this list. There is great hope for us all, as we are willing to let the Holy Spirit speak to our daily habits and rhythms! We’ll see you tomorrow!