torsdag 1. desember 2016

It is about life-style

In many ways holiness is a life-style, and life-style is a result of habits. Many will claim that it takes three weeks to develop a habit, and three months to get a life-style.

This thesis is one of the keys in the discipleship-program of Dr. Charles Lake, a program we also use in the Salvation Army in several countries. Lake applies this principle to daily Bible-reading and prayer. It takes three weeks before this becomes a habit, followed by another three weeks before you miss the exercise. However, after three months it has become a life-style. Particularly in the first phase this takes discipline, and therefore you need someone to be accountable to.

I have seen how this principle can function in my own life and in the lives of others. If there is an area where it is important to keep two thoughts in the head at the same time, it must be when the subject is discipline. Holiness is the working by God, and a result of his grace and love. Apart from receiving in faith, there is nothing I can do to save myself or to live a holy life. Salvation and sanctification is in Jesus, and in him alone. However, the principles that are valid in our physical life, are often the principles that will work also in the spiritual life.

My physical existence is a result of the love of my parents. In the same way as I cannot ‘save myself’, I could not “create myself”. From the moment I was born again, a development started I which I became more and more responsible steward of my own life. It was all about learning good habits, like e.g. to eat healthy food, get enough sleep, have good routines for personal hygiene and learn as much as I could about the world in which I am a citizen. If I do not manage to develop one good habit, I would still remain a world-citizen, even though it is not likely that I would have lived to my present age if I completely neglected my body and my life.

Thus, holiness is depending upon what I want and upon discipline to develop which makes it possible to live a good life in the holiness I have in Jesus Christ. In other words, I have part in the holy life, but what I do with this life is very much for me to choose. It can be good to have a mentor who can encourage me like e.g. Paul encouraged Timothy:

But you, man of God (1)
1 Tim 6:11
‘Manna’ for today:
I want holiness to be my life-style
(1) Maybe the ‘formation’ of Timothy will be the focus for the next period?

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