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How to invite Jesus into your health, budget, and relationship habits


woman running outsideWhen we make small positive decisions and repeat them day after day, transformation happens in our marriages, our waistlines, and our bank accounts. These small decisions are habits, and with a little prayer, we can make them devotional. Here's how:

First, we can start with a heart of gratitude. One of the best gifts Jesus left us was his Spirit. A powerful ally, the Spirit helps us feel joy, peace, and patience. He also gives us self-control, and self-control is the heart of change when it comes to things like diet, fitness, budgeting, and the like.

Second, we can break down false compartments that invite Jesus into our quiet times but leave him out of our diets, exercise, and budgets. Let’s not sequester him to “spiritual” things, K? Instead, start praying things like, “Jesus, show me how to eat healthier, and help me to want healthy food," or "Jesus, what's your wisdom for how to set up this budget?" Then wait for his help.

Third, we can be vigilant against shame and comparison. Neither of these things makes a good foundation for your goals or your heart. So examine your motives when you want to start a new “program.” Are you doing it because an expert recommended it, or because you want to look/be like someone else, or because the critical voice in your head keeps putting you down? If yes to any of the above, pause and let Jesus weigh-in his opinion, too. He may give a thumbs up to the program. Or he may direct your energy to something else better for you. Regardless, his direction is far superior to shame or comparison, so give his wisdom an opportunity to trump other influences.

Then, once you’re in the groove of a new habit or program, remember to stay flexible and don’t get discouraged with small steps and slow progress. Most importantly, receive grace constantly. As a rule, we humans are not so hot at giving ourselves grace, which is why we need to give Jesus a lot of time to speak to our hearts. Reliably his voice offers freedom and peace, which is a steady counter to our own voices that persistently push us toward rules and striving.

Do you have any tips or success stories about establishing good habits with the help of Jesus? We would love to hear them! Share your comment here or on Facebook.

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