Excellence Is A Habit

“You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” The Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote that 350 years before Jesus.

I started thinking about this thought in relation to Spiritual practices. Part of the idea of learning the different practices (study, prayer, meditation, service, celebration, worship and so forth) is to bring them into your life and make the practice of them a habit. Something you do regularly without stopping to wonder what you do next.

One of my small groups has been studying the letter to the Hebrews. That writer is most concerned about people who join the fellowship and then gradually slip away. The Willow Creek Association conducted a massive research project (we live in the scientific age, after all) that discovered that people get themselves out of the spiritual doldrums through developing an intentional Spiritual practice–most often beginning with immersing themselves in the study of the Word.

The writer of Hebrews said, “Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.”

What habits have you slipped into this year, so far? Have you begun getting up a little earlier so that you can read and meditate? Have you been intentional looking for ways to serve? Is it time to develop a new habit?

I think Aristotle assumed that we would develop good habits that lead to excellence. I keep working on mine.

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