Formulating a rule of life is one thing, but sticking with it is quite another. That part is usually my downfall!
Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business says that "habits are an accretive process." In the beginning our habits take a great deal of concentration and effort, but overtime they become an automatic way of life.
Essentially, we become our habits.
Our choices, words, and actions (also know as our habits) reflect what we truly believe about ourselves and God. Scary thought some days!
Here are some practical tips so that the rule of life becomes a living document to help shape us into His likeness.
Repetition Is Key
Review your rule of life each morning to set your mind and day on Christ.
Keep it with you to refer to throughout the day.
Mine is on my phone and in my journal so I am less likely to forget once I am faced with the demands of the day.
Plan and Schedule
Schedule time and stick with it!
If I wrote down everything I did this past week what would it reveal about my true priorities? Did I really need to watch that new series on Netflix, play that game on my phone or spend as much time as I did on the computer last night?
What time can I reclaim by rearranging my priorities?
Be realistic about the best time of day to engage in your spiritual disciplines that makes sense for your personality and life circumstances. My optimum time is early in the morning before I run into people! (Spoken like a true introvert!)
If we believe that everything belongs to God then that also includes our time.
Plan To Avoid Distractions
I get easily distracted. Just ask my husband. When we are out together Ken whistles to find me in the crowd as I get swept away by every shiny object. His words, not mine!
Unfortunately, I am no different when it comes to engaging in spiritual practises. When I set aside time to be with God I can almost guarantee that concerns about family, work or the toilet paper I forgot to purchase while I was out will flood my mind.
I now keep a journal or paper beside me so that I can write down what I need to surrender to God in prayer or take care of later in the day.
Find or create your own quiet sacred place to focus on God and limit distractions.
Unplug. Yes, that is not a typo! The compulsion to respond to every pop up is often a losing battle!
A Posture of Humility
Anything new or worthwhile takes time, practise, and patience.
I am easily prone to discouragement when I try something new and fail to see tangible evidence of progress as quickly as I would like. If I want to grow in Christ then I will have to get my pride out of the way!
As disciples, we have permission to learn and even make mistakes. Therefore, we can let go of the need for perfection.
I am going to take a huge step for me this year. I am going to leave the progress and fruit production up to God.
I am going to cease the striving and shame when I fail.
I am going to enjoy being with Him instead of focused on results.
Disciplines help us to learn a posture of humility and surrender to God. When true submission takes place we become less so that God can fully reign in and through us.
God gives us generously His grace. When we miss the mark (and we will) let us simply review our rule of life, pray for help and start again.
Dare to Share!
Most authors on the subject encourage sharing your rule of life with a trusted pastor, spiritual mentor or friend. If you are an introvert and private person like myself this stage might terrify you.
Think of it this way. When you have a friend to meet you at that fitness class or bible study it gives an extra push to show up, rather than crash on the couch with a bag of Lime Tostitos.
Same principle applies. The accountability of a trusted confidant is a gift to spur one another on to grow together in Christ.
Thank you that you have chosen us to be your disciples. Forgive us for the choices and habits that do not reflect and honour you. Help us to humble ourselves to hear, learn, and obey. Thank you for your promise to help us in our weakness when we get discouraged, tired, or fail.
Please use this rule of life to make us into your image that we would know and reflect your love. Give us wisdom as to the right person to share our rule of life with who will encourage us to grow together in you.
In the powerful name of Jesus,
I would love to continue to hear from you. You can use the comment section to share your own rule of life so that we can inspire one another along the way. If you would like to receive automatic updates from my castle to yours simply enter in your email address to journey together. Until next time...