By Justin Whitmel Early
“Habits form much more than our schedules: they form our hearts.”
– Justin Whitmel Early
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The common rule is a different way to live, rejecting the unproductive busyness the world worships and forming healthy life-giving habits which draw us closer to God and one another. When we view our habits as a liturgy, we can become much more aware of our automatic behaviours and intentionally transition into a better way of living for God and our neighbour.
The Common Rule is made up of eight habits, four daily and four weekly, and each habit corresponds with either cultivating your love of God, or love of neighbour. We were made to love and be loved by God, and when we think of our habits as only impacting ourselves, we miss the opportunity to practising habits that bless those around us! “We’re made to be happy when we’re focusing on others” and many habits in the common rule help us to spend our days for the sake of others, rather than just ourselves.
The Common rule also encourages us to embrace the goodness in the world which God has made and practise resistance. We need the habit of resistance in this broken world because troubles will come, and when our natural unconscious habitual responses are fear, anger, anxiety, and envy, we cannot and do not love our neighbours well. “We are all living according to a specific regimen of habits, and those habits shape most of our life.”
Justin’s book is a fantastic resource to begin the journey of forming and practising spiritual disciplines and habits of faith. “It’s utterly important to learn the right theological truths about God and neighbor, but it’s equally necessary to put that theology into practice via rule of life. You can’t believe truth without practising truth.”
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