I’m sure you know the answer to this question even before I pose it to you, but have you ever found yourself being inconsistent? It doesn’t matter what it is, whether it’s not exercising 4 to 5 times a week OR diving into the cookies/potato chips OR watching too much television OR answering significant others in a few words rather than having a deep, intimate conversation. Do you simply find yourself saying, “I should be doing this,” but continue to find yourself doing the opposite; the same exact unhealthy behavior day in and day out, repeating the same thing over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again?
Looking back on my posts (can’t believe it’s almost been a year blogging!), I’ve alluded to this topic several times, primarily in the last post Destroy What Destroys You. The impending proposition is a play on words, thinking critically about the title, understanding what occurs when we have consistent inconsistency in our life. And most importantly, how do we manage such a dilemma.
First of all, it takes a lot to recognize your own inconsistency. It takes an attentive discernment of one’s character to say, “wait a second, this isn’t good, this isn’t bettering me as a person.” It not only takes a lot to be cognizant of ones’ flaws, but most importantly, takes an abundance of tempered attitude to refine and adjust private weaknesses. It’s imperative to note, we’re all fundamentally exhausted. We’re all quintessentially afflicted. We have our own secluded predicaments and complications. We’re all simply imperfect.
With imperfection comes inconsistency. With inconsistency comes commitment dominance (and not all imperfection leads to inconsistency; that’s not the extent of the following, but rather an analysis of the adverse/unfavorable influences on our lives). In other words, habit forming. And in this case, negative habits; dominating negative habits, fulfilling the majority of ones’ thoughts and actions. To understand habits, we must appreciate the science behind habit forming. Essentially, habits are developed through frequent repetition and reinforcement, links between stimuli and responses. Most habits we have today were shaped during our early years as well as being passed down from our parents. Also, we’ve learned through observation and modeling, being most often consistent with our personality. Therefore, frequently repeated thoughts or actions create neural pathways in the brain and the more frequent the repetition, the stronger the connection and the wider the pathway will become. The constant recurrence decreases the biochemical resistance to that certain thought or action. That is why we can perform certain thoughts and actions almost unconsciously.
Ultimately, as we begin to realize and recognize a negative habit forming, we should quickly do all things possible to extinguish its damaging wrath. Because it’s oh so often, we relinquish control to the repugnant behavior. Sometimes, we get so lost, so deep we become uninterested, unwilling to change because we begin to disparately believe, “well, I’m too far gone to be saved, I’ve already gained 50 pounds, why stop now, I’m comfortable and “happy” with what I’m doing.” Once friends, family, or even yourself recognize the denial or resistive posture to change, then you must cut it out of your life, Destroy What Destroys You, seriously.
It’s so easy to float through life, staying up late, sleeping late, sitting and watching television all day, eating junk food, with not a responsibility or care in the world to change. Granted, I know there are a plethora of circumstances well beyond one’s control that may limit one’s alteration, but why not change, why not take a risk, why not take a leap of faith? There is one guarantee, if you DO take that risk, you won’t be alone, I promise. You won’t have to suffer, feel alone, or turn to risky behavior anymore because Jesus Christ will always be at your side.
“To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”-Ephesians 4:22-24
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”-Hebrews 13:5
If your day-to-day schedule is filled with inconsistency, develop a new one and start by getting rid of the things in your life causing or leading to so much anguish, so much anger, or so much regret. If it’s the television, get rid of it. If it’s your smart phone, get a “dumb phone.” If it’s friends pulling you down, cut them off. It may seem foolish to others, it may seem like it’s over the top, but if you’re going to overcome inconsistency, you must remove yourself completely or remove IT completely, whatever that IT may be. Once you remove these things that have been destroying your character, destroying your relationships, you can begin to mold and mend a new life; a holy life God has always designed for you to live, and only if you allow Him, turn to Him in these troubling times you can be completely and thoroughly refreshed, renewed, and revitalized.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”-1 Corinthians 10:13
Post Script-an ensuing post MAY follow because…1) some of you like post series and 2) we must learn what to do after removing a bad habit from our lives.