I hope you are well!
Let’s talk numbers!
Any guess as to what these represent?
It has been said it takes 21 days to form a good habit, and 90 days to create a lifestyle.
After my poor MRI in August, I committed to working out and eating healthy for the sake of winning in the battle against Multiple sclerosis. It was so hard at first to get up earlier just to work out hard day after day (five or six days a week) but after the first month it became mostly automatic. It is one of the first things I think of when I awake, and I feel incomplete without it. It has become, since September, my lifestyle.
21 days to ingrain a new habit, 90 days to establish a lifestyle!
What about the number 3? Well, it has been often said that it only takes three days to break a good habit (or create a bad one). Why is it so much easier to do so? Probably because of our fallen nature. So I try very hard to not let three days pass without continuing in my commitment to living healthy.
6 weeks of self-isolation is more than enough time to establish poor habits and break good ones, isn’t it? Too much TV? Too much eating of junk? Too much sleeping in? Too much shopping online? Many people are speaking of these bad habits established during quarantine and it is almost as if we are experiencing new years resolutions all over again!
Now to the nitty-gritty…
What does this have to do with anything church-wise?
As pastor, I have concern that 6 weeks away from fellowship, worship, evangelism, discipleship, and ministry can create some devastating compromises in our lives. We can grow accustomed to being apart. We can forget the value of church. We can become accustomed to watching church or sitting at home and not connecting in person. Believe me, I am concerned about this and so are other pastors I have spoken with.
I am reading through the book of Deuteronomy in my morning devotions. In it, I am struck by how many times (over and over again) the Lord repeats Himself and calls the people of Israel to “remember” all that He has done for them, all that they have seen, all that He has taught, and all that He has called them to. It is astounding to see chapter after chapter, line after line, practically begging the people to remember and to not veer off to the right or to the left. Why so much time spent saying the same things? 21-90-3.
The Lord knows how easy it is for people to stray. How easy it is to compromise. How easy it is to put self first instead of God first. He knows, and He knows the devastation it brings.
Friends, we are back, soon we will resume small group meetings, and those that feel it is unsafe for them will be given online options. For the rest? Let us remember what church is about, let us remember how scripture calls us to love one another, and let us pursue godly habits that build our faith so that it can move mountains and reach the lost. Let your lifestyle be about following Jesus.
If you need help or counseling or advice in any of this, know that I am here for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Love and blessings,