habits

6a00c11413d9c5819d00c2251c13928fdb500pi David Crowder offers an inspiring take on our need to habitually praise God.  We need to be praise-addicts.  We need to get hooked.  But it’s hard, he says.  We are much more easily drawn into messed-up habits:

"It seems for most bad habits we display, there was never any intentional formation.  Most alcoholics do not sit down and think, ‘Okay, just twenty-one days and I’ll need this stuff like water.’  Most nail biters do not think, ‘I love the taste of my fingernails and the feeling of tearing them down to the quick.  I really need to consider doing it more often.’  No, usually destructive habits are formed more subtly with very little thought and planning.

"Good habits seem more difficult to manage.  Maybe it’s just me, but things like brushing your teeth, exercisitng, proper eating, saying ‘yes, sir’ and ‘no, sir,’ and sending Mother’s Day flowers seem much harder to acquire than, say, burping at the table.  Why does it seem like the formation must be much more intentional in our adoption of good habits?

"I’m convinced it’s because we are bent, deficient, broken.  Things aren’t right.  Things aren’t as they were intended.  Things aren’t as they were at the start.  Innocence is gone, and left alone in our depraved state we tend to choose destructive paths.  Oh, we have choice.  We have will, this capacity to choose among alternative courses of action and to act on the choice made.  But good habits seem counterintuitive.  When we do find the will and courage to head down that narrow path, we often find that even then we still have a deep capacity for taking beautiful things and turning them into hideous remnants of what was intended."  (Crowder, Praise Habit, pp. 26-27)

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