Good habits are well worth cultivating, and efforts at desisting from bad ones are to be commended. Bad habits are injurious to oneself and to others.
My mother always encouraged me to be well-mannered. She told me to say, “Thank you,” ….. “No thank you,” ….. “Yes, please,” and never to swear! These habits of being courteous and respectful to others have been beneficial to me. You might say they’ve been a blessing, because of the dividends they’ve brought. I have learned that if I smile at someone, they are likely to smile back. If I am grumpy or surly, then I can expect similar responses.
Good habitual behaviour on the part of a Christian is enormously helpful when it comes to sharing the gospel and the love of Jesus. Christians are to reflect His light (John 8:12; 12:36), since they are His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20).
So what habits should a Christian cultivate to help him or her promote an effective testimony?
A principal habit should be the regular study of God’s Word (Psalm 119:16). It is important to set aside a time each day for feeding on His word and for prayer. Jesus tells His followers to retire to a secret place (Matthew 6:6, 18) where these things can be done in private. It is there that God meets them, delights in their praises (Hebrews 3:15) and thanksgivings, and takes note of their petitions.
Another important habit should be the regular gathering together of God’s people for worship. Sunday is the traditional day for such meetings, but the day of the week has no significance (Galatians 4:10, 11; Colossians 2:16, 17). Meeting in unity before the Lord to worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:23) is what counts.
God builds His church, which is composed of individuals who are united together in Him as one; they are members of His body (Colossians 1:18) – each playing their respective parts; praising Him and honouring Him, while being guided and inspired by the Holy Spirit. Their desire is to serve God and to give Him the glory He deserves. How much of this should be habitual is open to debate – indeed, if any of it should be habitual, apart from the regular meeting together of the church.
Habitual giving to the church is commendable, because those who teach and shepherd the church should receive their due reward (1 Corinthians 9:7 -14). Any service performed in the name of our Lord, whether it is the giving of a cup of water to a thirsty person (Matthew 10:42), feeding and sheltering the poor, or comforting those who mourn, never goes unnoticed by God, for He sees and hears all things (Psalm 139). He is the God who blesses and rewards His children for their good works (Matthew 16:27; 1 Corinthians 3:8) and obedience to Him.
It goes without saying, there is no justification on the part of a Christian for bad habits, because they are sinful. He needs to repent and amend his ways.
God commands His servants to be perfect (Matthew 5:48); which means making every effort to do His will. Good habits can play their part in this endeavour.