“NO!” One of the most powerful words you can learn to exercise!
Nazarite - consecrated to the service of God, under vows to abstain from alcohol, let the hair grow, and avoid defilement by contact with corpses (Num. 6).
No to Wine
No to unclean things
No to a hair cut
Immediately Samson tests his boundaries
(Jdg 14:3) Courts sin. “Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes.”
(Jdg 14:5) Teases Sin. “Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah, and they came to the vineyards of Timnah.”
(Jdg 14:8) Jokes about Sin. “And he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion.”
(Jdg 15:15) Arrogant with Sin. “And he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey.”
“Your charisma will elevate you, but your character will keep you”
We rarely end up at wrong place because of a single bad choice.
Series of Bad choices, made of consistently, over time that leads to the wrong place
Smart (Foolish) Choices + Consistency + Time = Radical Result
Samson didn’t just stumble upon the prostitute. Gaza is 25 miles from Samson’s hometown Zorah.
An average person has a stride length of approximately 2.1 to 2.5 feet. That means that it takes approximately 2,000 steps to walk one mile; and 10,000 steps would be 5 miles. 50,000 steps to make it 25 miles
Samson didn’t get there in 1 step, it took 50,000
Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. The same way that money multiplies through compound interest, the effects of your habits multiply as you repeat them. They seem to make little difference on any given day and yet the impact they deliver over the months and years can be enormous. It is only when looking back two, five, or perhaps ten years later that the value of good habits and the cost of bad ones becomes strikingly apparent. This can be a difficult concept to appreciate in daily life.
Clear, James. Atomic Habits (p. 16)
What Bad Habit do you need to break to get there?
What bad choice do make consistently that is working against who you are called to be?
Want to be wealthier - need break habit of spending, credit card use
Want to be healthier - need break habit of snacking on sugar (one snickers bar)
Want happy marriage - need to break the habit fighting
Want a closer walk - need to break the habit of skipping
Based on WHO you are called to be, what habit do you need to break?
21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
(Jas 1:19–25, ESV)
HOW DO YOU BREAK A BAD HABIT?
Remember The Habit Loop (Cue, Crave, Respond, Reward)
Invert the 4 keys to habit formation we discussed last week
1) Make It Invisible (Cue)
1 Cor 15:33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
5 Major Triggers:
2) Make It Unattractive (Crave)
Reframe your mind-set…Highlight the benefits of avoiding your bad habits and the consequences of permitting it.
The deceptive nature of bad habits… bad habits are attractive because the immediate payoff is desirable, while the negative consequence is delayed
3) Make It Difficult (Respond)
We don’t do what is hard, we do what is easy
Increase friction. Increase the number of steps between you and your bad habits. Limit your choices to only the beneficial ones
4) Make It Unsatisfying (Reward)
The more immediate the pain, the less likely the behavior. If you want to prevent bad habits and eliminate unhealthy behaviors, then adding an instant cost to the action is a great way to reduce their odds.
The habits you have today will shape who you will become tomorrow.
Do you like the direction your habits are taking you?
50,000 steps to sin or success, the choice is ours to make