"For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."
II Timothy 1:7
Self-control = Margin
Scripture often reminds us of our need for self-control. However, our cultural tendency is to go-go-go in order to keep up and meet the demands imposed by everyone around us. I believe a major component of self-control is allowing for margin in our lives. Room for margin can be improved by how we order our daily habits.
In his book Atomic Habits, author James Clear offers some great suggestions to help us develop better habits. One of those is the idea of Habit Stacking. It’s a simple concept really, you pair a new and improved habit with one you are already doing. Instead of trying to carve out the time for improving your spiritual disciplines, you can “stack” it with something else.
You probably don’t give much thought or mental energy to making your coffee, showering, or driving to work each day. Maybe you could “stack” a habit of prayer or scripture memorization along with something you are doing anyway. Here are some other suggestions:
When you pour your coffee, say a prayer of thanks and ask for God’s guidance for the day.
On your drive home, call a friend to maintain a meaningful relationship.
While performing your cardio, memorize scripture.
Pray while you stretch before any workout.
At the end of each day when you empty your pockets, say a prayer of thanks for God’s provision for that day and write it down in a journal.
The Possibilities are Endless!
So many of us struggle to maintain margin and shutter at the thought of adding something else…but you don’t have to, just stack! James Clear states that we can chain many of habits together to achieve momentum.
A simple concept resulting in powerful results!