Commitment vs. Habit and the quality of your life

There are certain things in life that require a commitment and there are others that can be done by habit and you never want to confuse the two.

Could you imagine your marriage being a habit — as in she has a habit of acting like a wife or he has a habit of acting like he loves her?

Habit does not belong in certain places and marriage is one of those. It also doesn’t belong in parenting or church.

God doesn’t want you to have a habit of going to church although many are going because of habit. This means that their regular routine has developed without passion, understanding and truth.

It just means that it became a consistency of behavior that resulted in one going to a particular place and taking up a particular space for a particular time and you just got used to that.

Webster defines habit as a settled tendency or usual manner of behavior. It’s associated with addiction and is a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance.

Simply put, you keep doing the same thing over again until it flies under your cognitive radar. You don’t think about doing it, you just do it.

Now this is great news if we are talking about going to the gym, drinking enough water, calling ahead when you are going to be late and walking your dog. It is horrible for the more meaningful things of life.

Commitment, on the other hand, is much more meaningful, calculated and cognitively processed. You are fully aware of a commitment and you are fully engaged in the process.

Webster says of commitment: an agreement or pledge to do something in the future or an engagement to assume a financial obligation in the future.

Commitment is the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled.

This is a far cry from an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary.

So imagine building a relationship with God out of habit. Often times a habit doesn’t require much thought so you can see how that becomes counterproductive in prayer, trusting God or getting help from him. You cannot have a productive relationship with God by habit. Habit will only get you to a church building but it won’t change your life.

As you look over your life, have you put commitment and habit in the right places? You commit to relationships and you develop healthy habits that benefit your mind, body and soul. Anything that is a matter of life or death, whether that is spiritual life or physical life has to be a commitment.

Correct application of these two principles is the difference between a healthy productive life and just existing.