3 Obstacles to Your Healthy Habits
In the last post, we discussed specific habits we need to build in our lives. But there will always be obstacles to maintaining good habits. So what can we do?
When we build the habits of prayer and Bible study, we feel a stronger connection to our Creator. No amount of miraculous experiences or spiritual “feel-good” moments can take the place of that consistent link with God.
When we care for our bodies through good health habits, we get a sense of accomplishment and happiness in our lives. We just plain feel better.
Sounds wonderful, right? Except for the pesky fact that an army of obstacles will try to get us to compromise and abandon these healthy habits. So what do we do? We fight. We fight for our spiritual, physical and mental health.
Imagine these obstacles personified and calling your name.
1. The time-wasting obstacle: “Come waste time with me!”
- I’m your Facebook feed that you just have to check. Once I have you looking at me, I can keep you occupied for at least 20 minutes (maybe more!). The newsfeed never ends, and I make it too irresistible to look away. Funny memes, interesting videos and other people’s lives look deceptively better than yours. How can you resist me?
- I’m all the movies, TV shows, novels, sports, 24-hour news, political debates and screen time that give you a break from reality. I have endless hours of entertainment, intrigue, drama and other people’s reality. How can you resist me?
How can you face this obstacle? Do better than most adults in the United States by watching less than the average four hours of television a night. Redeem the time instead (Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5). In that four hours you could do at least a half hour of Bible study, a half hour of prayer, a half hour of exercise and a half hour of preparing healthy food. And you would still have almost two hours of entertainment, social media and relaxation left over.
You can do this!
Change will never be easy, but it is something God expects us to do—for our own good.2. The necessary obligations obstacle: “I’m more necessary and urgent than God and your health!”
- I’m your job that takes up most of your time during the week. You need me to support your family, so you feel obligated to put me ahead of almost everything else. I try to get you to avoid making time for God and instead whisper, “I’m your job. You can’t neglect me, so spend even more time with me. This is just the way it is.”
- I’m your house that always has something needing to be fixed. You need to spend hours on me in order to provide a nice shelter for your family. I try to make you put your most expensive possession ahead of God and your health. After all, you can’t just let your house fall apart!
How can you face this obstacle? Hard work is an important virtue, so we can’t just stop working (Proverbs 27:23). But we have to remember that our relationship with God is even more important (Deuteronomy 6:5). If our overall busyness in doing the necessary things in life is keeping us from the more necessary things—spiritual and physical health—then we need to reevaluate and reprioritize our time.
3. The difficulty obstacle: “Change is too hard, so don’t do it!”
- I’m the old habits in your life. I come back to haunt you as much as I possibly can. After a week of great eating, I’m that large milkshake that calls out to you! After sleeping so well, I’m that weekend Netflix binge that tempts you to stay up past midnight. After exercising diligently, I’m the two-week couch potato marathon. After studying the Bible and praying every day, I’m the “urgent” situations that challenge your priorities.
- I’m the doubt in your mind that you can change. I’m the temptation to just give in and not care.
How can you face this obstacle? Changing will never be easy (Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:8-9), but it is something God does and will always expect humans to do—for our own good. So we should get used to it and do it!
For further insight into defeating these obstacles, read “6 Steps to Overcoming Bad Habits.”