Our habits matter, we all know that. We strive to feed our good habits and we struggle to starve our bad ones. In the book You Are What You Love, the author, James K.A. Smith, explores how habits influence us spiritually.
For example, love is a habit. We can get better at loving others. It takes practice. We don’t need more information that tells us to love others as Jesus has been quite clear on that. We do, however, need to put this love into action, we need to develop new habits in our lives that help us to love.
Smith says it this way, “Discipleship is a rehabituation of our lives. This means that discipleship is more a matter of reformation than of acquiring information.” Walking with Jesus and growing more like him means developing new habits.
Smith also compares discipleship to a type of immigration, moving from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God’s beloved Son. “Such an immigration to a new kingdom isn’t just a matter of being teleported to a different realm; we need to be acclimated to a new way of life, learn a new language, acquire new habits – and unlearn the habits of that rival dominion.”
Many of the habits that influence us are things we don’t give any thought to – where we shop, how we worship, what we listen to, what we watch on TV, who we’re around. All these influence our faith and growth and warrent our attention.
This is a good book, a deep and thoughtful book, and certainly one I recommend for someone wanting to give consideration to those quiet and habitual ideas and practices that shape our hearts.