Let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality – Jesus
Over the past few months, we’ve talked about ways to love more like Jesus did. But how do we turn these actions into a habit? There’s a difference between deciding and actually doing, and in order to make loving like Jesus a habit we need to cultivate the discipline to actually do it. In other words, the key to loving like Jesus should be more than a decision, the key is to make it a habit that unfolds daily.
Today, we’re diving into ways you can turn your actions into a habit, and learn to love more like Jesus each day.
1. Create a lifestyle pattern
Did you know that researchers at Duke University found that 40% of the actions we perform each day aren’t a decision, they’re a habit? These habits begin through patterns. What you repeatedly do each day will ultimately form the kind of person you are. This is especially true when it comes to loving others at the highest level.
For example – how in shape or out of shape are you? How is your financial health? How productive are you? Your answers are all results of your habits that have been formed by patterns. Start each day by making loving others at the highest level a conscious and daily lifestyle pattern – a pattern that will turn into a habit that unfolds instinctively.
2. Be intentional
Naturally, we are driven down the “path of least resistance.” Why? Because energy moves where it is easiest to go, and we do what we have always done. With a bit of intention and some discipline, you can reconfigure your personal path of least resistance, creating a new habit for your behavior until it becomes automatic. You can deliberately change an old habit or create a new one.
Make an intentional decision to love more like Jesus, and with time this will become a habit that you do without effort. For example, has there been someone in particular who you could mend ties with? Focusing on loving your enemies with intentionality would be a great place to start. Or perhaps you’d like to be less judgmental? These are both great examples of ways we can focus on our intentionality to love more like Jesus.
3. Connect Daily with the Holy Spirit
Over centuries, a tiny stream trickling down a hillside can carve away a boulder. It won’t take centuries, but we do know that we can’t cultivate a life changing habit overnight. It results from daily intention, if only for a few minutes, of reflection and prayer. To live a Spirit-filled life, we need to be conscious of the Spirit within us. We need to meditate on God’s Word and say a prayer.
A simple quiet time of reading a passage of the Bible and saying a prayer – daily – is like the dripping water on a seemingly unchanging stone. It will gradually alter our lives, and slowly shape our hearts.
Your life today is the sum of your habits
Aristotle said, “We are what we do.” And modern-day scientists couldn’t agree more. Your life today is the sum of your habits, both good and bad. By creating healthy lifestyle patterns, practicing intentionality, and connecting with the Holy Spirit, we will open our hearts to love more like Jesus did. A habit that we do day in and day out.
To dive into more ways on how to love more like Jesus, check out my new book Love Like That.
What are some ways that you practice loving like Jesus? Do you have any new habits you’d like to form? Let us know in the comments!