They say it takes 21 days to form a habit but they don’t tell you how to keep something going long enough to reach this elusive 21 day mark. Whether it’s going to the gym or opening your Bible, by day 3 you’ve lost the giddy passion you began with and by day 5 you’re out of step with the tentative rhythm you’d got into. Day 7 arrives and I’ve completely forgotten I had begun the week with the intention of making it radically different to the week before, and I find myself vowing to use the new week ahead to make a change. The cycle continues. Along with the frustration that my life isn’t moving in the right directions and the disappointment that I am unable to stick at anything long enough to change my life for the better.
* Major sigh* Last week was one of those weeks. Too busy to be immersed in the presence of God, living in fringe Christianity, where Christ is always in the vicinity but there’s be no effort made to walk over and begin a hearty conversation. Just thinking through my failed half-attempts to spend time with God infuriates me. I could put it down to bad time management on some days and point blank laziness on others, but the overarching reason comes down to a lack of desire. I’m not saying I don’t love Jesus (every Sunday, I remember just how great he is and how much I miss being close to him), but when I’m coming up with every excuse under the sun as to why now is not the right time to get on my knees and open my Bible, I’ve got to wonder how much I want to pray. When I want a new job, I stomach the chore that is sifting through adverts and job boards and I begin applying. When I want to lose weight I fight the voice in my head telling me to lay in bed and I put on my trainers and go for a run. But when it comes to getting close to God…
I’d like to dispel a big misconception: Just because you didn’t feel like opening your bible this morning and getting ready for church was the ultimate chore last week, doesn’t mean you should give up on your relationship with God. I think we treat our relationships with God in the idealistic way we view relationships with our other halves. ‘We’ve deceived ourselves into believing it should all just come naturally, there shouldn’t be any element of doubt and the moment we begin to question how much we are ready to fight for the relationship, we consider giving in the towel and questioning the very reason we’ve entered into the relationship.
This post is for everyone who is tired of the weekly routine of being distant with God, only to reconnect with him every Sunday, or every month when you feel like everything in life is going array, or every time you desperately need a miracle. I’m writing for everyone who feels guilty every time they ask God for something because they can’t remember the last time they spoke to God, just to hang out with him. For everyone reading who feels frustrated with their lack of commitment to their faith and is struggle to break the cycle, I write for you, because I too am tired of the charade that has become my walk with Christ.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
I could remind you of everything you already know- you’re supposed to read your word daily, you’re supposed to seek God first, you should be actively looking to please God, as opposed to making decisions that you feel need the least repentance, but I won’t stop there. It’s great to have knowledge but wisdom is being able to do something with what you know.
3 tips to making this week with Christ better than the last:
1. Review your faith everyday.
We wait so long before we come running back to God and we’re just delaying the process of receiving God’s forgiveness and being able to move forward in our faith. Why wait until Sunday to remind you what the presence of God feels like and how good it is to be in? Implementing a daily review into your routine will give you the opportunity to seek out Christ tomorrow if you feel like you didn’t that day. The quicker you catch a bad habit, the easier it is to stop.
2. Surround yourself with people who share your motive to put Christ at the centre.
There is a reason that people with addictions get sent to self help groups and the likes of weight watchers can boast of so many extreme weight loss testimonials- change is easier with others. The whole point of church is to provide us with a family to grow with, but if your church isn’t giving you that, create your own. Spend more time with the people that are also trying to grow in Christ and you’ll be able to give and receive the encouragement you both need to stay on track.
3. Catchup with Christ mid-week.
Whether it’s joining a bible study group, or going to mid week prayer, fellowshipping with Christians and having another Jesus-day in addition to Sunday, gives you a double reminder that a Christ-centred life is the way. I used to attend an amazing fellowship that taught me so much and encouraged me to go and read my Bible for myself.
Your relationship with Christ is yours alone, but you don’t have to work out your faith on your own.
If you take on of these tips on board, or just want to check in with someone about your faith, please leave a comment/dm/ drop me an email. Would love to hear how you manage to stay on track with Jesus in the comments section.