I never skip a meal. I know some people consider breakfast to be optional, but I eat at least three full meals a day and honestly refuse to settle for less. It’s been years (I think) since I last went a day where I didn’t eat at three different points during the day. It’s a habit–and a healthy one at that.
One day last week, though, I surprised myself. I woke up late, didn’t have any particular schedule I had to abide by, did a mix-up on my normal morning, and even considered skipping breakfast. It was a moment of questioning my normal and debating if my habits were worthwhile.
In the end, I opted for breakfast.
On a quite different note, I’ve had lots of bad experiences with Bible studies. Not like scarring ones. Just like experiences that convince me that Bible studies are fake and floofy. The first Bible study I went to in college started off by everyone taking a starburst and based on what color starburst you had, you had to share a different fact about yourself. Creative idea, but way too floofy for me.
Due to my work schedule, I rarely have the opportunity to go to church, which I find disappointing. With this setback, I believe getting involved in a Bible study is especially essential. But I’m not looking for a Bible study where we talk solely about what we’re feeling. I don’t want a Bible study where we only give “correct” answers. I want a Bible study that challenges me, makes me think differently, and forces me to learn.
I recently started a Bible study that I’m semi-committed to. But I’m still trying to decide what I think about it. Is it really worth going?
Every time I go to Bible study, I come back and think about it. Did I learn something? Where the people on a similar page as I was? Did I feel challenged? Did that lesson make me think differently?
I have high standards. And any week where the study didn’t meet my standards I re-evaluate if it’s worthwhile.
There is a healthy time to evaluate value. There is a time for questioning our foundations. However, I’ve also recently come to realize, that there is also a time for establishing healthy habits and committing to them as a whole without constantly questioning them.
Going back to my breakfast scenario; I know eating breakfast is healthy. I know that some breakfasts I eat aren’t healthy. However, as a whole, if I were to finish breakfast every morning and then lean back in my chair to ask, “Is breakfast worth eating? Is it actually healthy? What did this do for me? Should I really bother to keep eating breakfasts?” The energy expended wouldn’t be worth it!
In the same way, I know going to Bible study is healthy. True, not every single time we meet will I “learn” something. Not every time will I feel challenged. Not every individual night will the Bible study feel “worth it.” But the truth is that the habit of attending a good (not perfect) Bible study is something I should be doing–and I don’t have to question that.
There should be days where I evaluate if I should change something about the Bible study group, or eventually change groups themselves. Just as sometimes I should consider what I’m eating and occasionally reconsider my breakfast menu or serving sizes. But knowing that breakfast is healthy, I should eat it without putting the pressure on every single breakfast to prove that the habit should be continued. It would be an injustice to put the burden of proving the value of eating breakfast on every single breakfast I’ve ever eaten.
In the same way, it’s an injustice to put the burden of proving the value of Bible studies on every single night our group meets.
To really make Bible study count, I need to commit. I need to commit to go next week, regardless of how tonight turns out. Just like I need to commit to making breakfast a habit, even if the occasional breakfast of donuts isn’t everything that breakfasts as a whole promise to be, I need to commit to make Bible study a habit, even if not every single Bible study is impactful. And through that commitment, I have the opportunity to really grow and make Bible study what I want it to be.
What healthy habits have you established that you rarely bother to question? What healthy habits are you trying to start, but you find yourself putting too much pressure on searching for immediate results?