Habit: a repeated action that becomes automatic
That is one way to define behaviors that become a part of our routine. Habits, both good and bad, are hard to break once established. Some you wish you never started; others you are glad you did.
Growing up, one of the habits we developed had to do with preparing for Sunday. On Saturday night, certain things were just done. Clothes were selected (usually by mom, including dad’s) and laid out, offering envelopes were filled, check marks were made in the appropriate boxes, and envelopes were placed in Bibles. Evening prayer always included asking God to bless our church the next day. Early to bed and early to rise. We never had a discussion about whether we were going to church. Since dad served on the church staff, that matter was already settled!
But it became more than habit or obligation. Growing in faith came to mean something more significant. It began to matter. It was good to see friends, to learn lessons, to participate in worship, but there was more. Over time, habit turned into yearning. As years passed, faith became personal and powerful. Coming to know a gracious and generous God touched a deep place inside.
Why do we come? Why do we serve? Why do we give? Our time, talent, and treasure should be given out of joy and opportunity, not habit or duty. “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord’” (Psalm 122:1).