One Daily Habit That Can Change Your Life

If we’re honest, we all want a better life. This is what we pursue with every moment of our day. In our work, our families, our conversations, we all want some sort of upgrade. We pursue it with resources, time, and energy. In small ways, in big ways, in insignificant ways, and in ways that can overhaul everything.

Nobody goes to the car lot and asks, “Can you give me something with a little more rust?” No, we want something that’s brand new, never been driven by anyone else. Nobody goes to the gym and says, “Look, see this? Can you make this a little more jiggly? It just doesn’t jiggle enough. It stops too soon.” No, you can make more jiggle on your own. You don’t need help for that. You go to the gym because you want to get better, look better, feel better. And let’s be honest—there’s always somebody who looks better than you, and you want that.

We want more square feet, the newer version, 2.0. When your neighbor turns in his Mercedes for a five-year-old Toyota, nobody concludes that he got a promotion at work. We all wonder what went wrong, because nobody makes a decision to move backward. When Apple releases a new product, we all jump on board. Even though we have phones in our pockets that work just fine, we are programmed to want the new one. The better one. The best one. We think this is an indication of how we’re doing. Are we progressing? Moving forward? We want smoother and shinier. It means we’re getting better.

You want new and better people in your life. Or perhaps you want to upgrade your spouse. 1.0 was fine, but how about 2.0? You want to go back to the store and say, “Something’s wrong with the software. It’s glitchy. I want a newer model. Perhaps one that listens better.”

What if a better life is not about the person you’re with but about how you love? What if it’s not about what you have, but it’s about what you give? What if your approach to contentment and peace and happiness—all the things that give you meaning and life—is backwards? What if your understanding of love is wrong? What if it needs an overhaul?

We keep pursuing peace and contentment and happiness, but we cannot move forward, and it’s scary to think about what we’re doing to our families and ourselves if we keep pursuing the same thing even though it’s not the path we should take.

Where have you been? Where would you like to be? What will get you further down the road? Is it broad, sweeping changes or small tweaks? When we’re trying to change something in our lives, most of the time a small tweak or new habit can make the greatest change.

Here is the one habit you can implement today that will change your life: Give God five minutes of your day, every day.

You can talk about lofty goals, an hour a day, but that’s not sustainable. You’ll do it for one day, and then you’ll give up. Or maybe you’ll try to read through the Bible, starting with Genesis. But Genesis isn’t the friendliest place to start. I’ve read through the first three chapters of Genesis every year for the last twenty years, and then I always give up.

What if you had a plan? Take away the excuse of time, information, or where to start. Find a plan to engage Scripture, reflect on it, and think about what the words mean. For just five minutes. Think about what could happen if you gave God just a few minutes of your day, every day. There’s no one spiritual habit that will change your life more. It will change your priorities, your heart, your relationships. It won’t be a broad, sweeping change. You might not even see results by Friday. But over a year, over the months, you’ll start to see a change. It all starts with just five minutes.

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Tricia Lott Williford lives and writes in Denver. She attends Southeast Christian Church in Parker, Colorado, and many of her articles on faith are born from the conversations and teachings of her pastors, Phil Vaughan and Geoff Surratt. You can join the conversation with Southeast’s online services this weekend, and you can give God five minutes today with their simple daily reading plan.