1. a regular course of procedure
2. habitual or mechanical performance of an established procedure
Those definitions really make you want to jump out of bed and get busy, don’t they?
I know, we all hate the idea of routines. They seem so mechanical, so unspiritual. They’re so . . . well, routine. When we talk about walking with God and joining him in his mission, it feels wrong to couch it in the language of routine. Our service to the Lord should arise from a love relationship. We tell ourselves (and others) that this kind of behavior should just flow out naturally. We shouldn’t need a list or routine to maintain it.
That type of thinking is ok if it works. But the problem is that for most people it isn’t working. You are not alone. The experience of Christians throughout history seems to indicate that disciplines and routines are the keys to spiritual development and joining God in his mission. Without daily routines, we are likely to get sucked into the flow of life and before we know it, the week is gone, and we have not done anything to sustain a relationship with God or advance his mission in the world.The experience of Christians throughout history seems to indicate that disciplines and routines are the keys to spiritual development and joining God in his mission. Click To Tweet
In his book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg writes:
Most of the choices we make each day may feel like the products of well-considered decision making, but they are not. They are habits. And though each habit means relatively little on its own, over time. . . Routines have an enormous impact. . .
He then cites a study from Duke University claiming that 40% of the actions people perform each day weren’t actual decisions, but habits.
These two ideas about habits and routine have powerful implications for our Christian development. They may also highlight the reasons we fail in so many areas of our lives. We have not established effective routines to support the behavior that we value. In this case, our daily routines move us away from God and his mission rather than toward it.
This post is a call for you to evaluate your daily routines and life habits and make adjustments that move you into God’s will and work. Over time, these simple adjustments will pay a significant dividend in your walk with Jesus and the advancement of his mission through your life.
Here are several routines that I think will help you. I am not suggesting that you must do all of these – some are obviously more vital than others – but I hope this list will spur your thinking about including routines in your life that advance God’s mission.