Dr. Jeremiah Johnston and Drew Dyck, author and editor, discuss the importance of developing winning habits. Even the Apostle Paul admitted to struggling with his behavior: “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15).
Christians today face the need to be balanced, self-controlled and consistent as well. In his book, “Your Future Self Will Thank You: Secrets to Self-Control from the Bible and Brain Science,” Dyck gives practical strategies for growing in self-discipline. The book’s focus is something that everyone can relate to, he says.
“I was hoping it would resonate with others. There is a gap between what you do and what you seem to be able to do,” Dyck says. “Self-control is foundational.”
While limiting oneself might seem negative, it is truly freeing, Dyck says, enabling people to withstand temptations and to do things they should even when they least feel like it. “As you choose to do the right thing – as you say ‘no’ to temptations – your willpower can actually increase,” he says. “Just like a muscle, if you give it resistance, if you use it more, it grows stronger with use.”
Habits, whether they are good or bad, are default actions that people take in various situations. They are unconscious routines that are a result of familiar cues and perceived rewards. If the habits are not in line with a person’s values or goals, he or she may initiate new practices. Initially, fresh habits require extra effort, but eventually, they become easier, Dyck says. Striving can be viewed in a negative way, but it is biblical. “I think the key is, instead of striving against God, strive with the Spirit,” he says.
Johnston encourages listeners to prioritize prayer in all they seek to do. Sometimes, goal-setters want to call it quits when they make a mistake, but perseverance is key, Dyck asserts. “As a Christian, we have the ultimate fresh start,” he says.
Drew Dyck is an acquisitions editor for Moody Publishers and a contributing editor at CTPastors.com. He released his book, “Your Future Self Will Thank You: Secrets to Self-Control from the Bible and Brain Science,” in 2019.