The vast majority of what we do is simply habit.

  • We either pray or not as a function of habit.
  • We read our Bibles or not as a function of habit.
  • We go to church or not as a function of habit.

The writer of Hebrews warned that some people had gotten out of the habit of meeting with fellow believers—to everyone’s detriment. They didn’t intend to stop meeting together. They didn’t stop meeting together as an act of rebellion. They hadn’t become atheist. They hadn’t de-converted. They simply got out of the habit. Most of life is that way.

  • Did you exercise today? If not, it is likely you have not formed the habit of exercise.
  • Did you have a Quiet Time today? If not, is almost certain that you have not cemented the habit of Quiet Time.
  • Are you giving regularly? No? Form a habit.
  • Are you memorizing God’s Word? What a wonderful habit that is!

Jeremiah suggested that we can’t quit sinning because we are accustomed to sinning—it is a habit.

Can an Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard its spots?
Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil. Jeremiah 13:23 (NIV2011)

Eugene Peterson paraphrased that line by saying, “you who are so long practiced in doing evil.” (The Message) We are good at doing evil because we have long practiced evil.

“Good habits are hard to form and easy to live with. Bad habits are easy to form and hard to live with.”[1] They are more difficult to form than most people think.

[1] I found this attributed to both Mark Matteson and Brian Tracy.