Who Am I? Friend Or Foe?

Can you guess the answer to this riddle?

I am your constant companion am your greatest helper or heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.

I am completely at your command. Half of the things you do you might as well turn over to me and I will do them – quickly and correctly.

I am easily managed – you must be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.

I am the servant of great people, and alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures.

I am not a machine though I work with the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a person.

You may run me for profit or run me for ruin – it makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet. Be easy with me and I will destroy you.

Who am I?

I am Habit.

We all have habits. Eating habits. Sleeping habits. Driving habits. Work habits. Money habits. Speech habits. Emotional habits. Relationship habits. Time-management habits. Even spiritual habits. They are behaviors that are learned. As they are repeated over and over again, they become ingrained in us. They help define who we are.  They become a part of our personality.  They make up the very the fabric of our character.

Dostoyevski once said, “The second half of a man’s life is made up of the habits he acquired during the first half.” Pascal put it this way, “The strength of a man’s virtue….is measured by his habitual acts.” This is why the Bible puts so much emphasis on our attitudes and actions.  Because a way of thinking and a way of acting soon becomes habitual.  And they can be good or bad. 

If you want to break some bad habit and develop some better ones, here five things you must do.

(1) Decide you really want to change.  Be honest. Don’t kid yourself.  We have the power to choose. 

(2) Realize bad habits just don’t disappear.  While we may choose to eliminate a harmful habit or a sinful habit from our lives.  It takes effort. Work. Determination. Habits don’t go away by themselves. 

(3) Define specifically the habits you want to acquire.  Just saying I want to be a better person…better parent…better Christian is not enough.  Be precise.  Identify an area of your life that needs specific improvement.  

(4) Develop a personal plan of action to help you acquire that habit.  Think it through.  Write it down.  Make it yours. 

(5) Evaluate your progress.  Don’t become discouraged with some set backs.  Celebrate your successes.  And focus on the future. 

(6) Elicit the help of others.  Your mate. Your family. Your friends. Announce your intention to them and ask them to hold you accountable.  In fact, it’s even better if it’s something you can work on together and help each other.

(7) Pray.  Ask for God’s help, strength and power to overcome the habit you are trying to break and to replace it with a new one.  

Once you are in control of your habits, you are in control of your health.  Your time. Your finances.  Your relationships.  Your attitude. Your actions.  Or as Burke Hedges said, “When you gain control of your habits you gain control of your life.”

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

7 Comments

Filed under Habit

7 responses to “Who Am I? Friend Or Foe?

  1. Larry

    Good food for thought in this. Thanks.

  2. Higgy

    Good lesson and encouragement to do better. Thanks!

  3. Thanks, Larry and Higgy! I appreciate it!

  4. Linda Baughn

    Can’t believe I figured that one out. Good arrticle.

  5. It means we should not be slaves of our habits and if we are really intelligent or if we use our intelligence then habits should be our slaves.

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