Active Mental Habits

Proverbs 2:1-5

My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding, yes if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the LORD.

Proverbs 4:1,4-7

Hear my children the instruction of a father, and give attention to know understanding; (4) He also taught me, and said to me:  let your heart retain my words; keep my commandments and live. Get wisdom! Get understanding!  Do not forsake her and she will preserve you; love her, and she will keep you.  Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom.  And in all your getting, get understanding.

Proverbs 4: 20-22

My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.  Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life for those who find them, and health to all their flesh.

My grand daughter Kate walks into our house and immediately plops her shoes down in front of the door. While she has learned the good habit of taking off her shoes, she has also learned the bad habit of dropping them right in the way of incoming and outgoing traffic.

For years, my husband has practiced “interesting” typing habits (he pecks) and as a result he is not very efficient with a keyboard. Talking with one’s mouth full, interrupting others, procrastination: they represent bad habits learned over time. All habits are formed by repeated practice and the longer one repeats a bad habit, the harder it can be to change it.

However “a nail is driven out by another nail; habit is overcome by habit.”  (Erasmus)

Forming good habits requires focused, prolonged, deliberate effort – something especially important for students as they develop mental habits, which are foundational for gaining effective learning skills. Good mental habits are also essential in forming good spiritual habits, such as prayer and meditating on God’s Word, because these require focus, the ability to ward off distractions, contemplation and remembrance!

The Proverbs have a lot to say about habits and which are are needed to acquire wisdom and understanding. Read the Proverbs verses listed above to your kids and note the ” active mental actions” we are called to do until they become habitual!

Our actions form habits and our habits form our character!!!

Proverbs 2: 1-5
  • Receive my words: a heart receptive to truth
  • Treasure my commands: loving what God loves
  • Incline your ear to wisdom: pressing in and listening to the Holy Spirit
  • Apply your heart to understanding: contemplating truth and incorporating it into your life
  • Cry out for discernment; lift up your voice for understanding:  Fervent prayer.
  • Seek her as silver and search for her:  putting in effort!
Proverbs 4: 1,4-7

  • Hear the instruction of a father:  listen to your parents!
  • Give attention to know understanding:  contemplate the Word.
  • Retain my words: remember what you learn.
  • Keep my commandments: Obey!
  • Get wisdom. Get understanding.  Do what it takes to get it!
  • Do not forsake her: Don’t forget what God has taught you.
Proverbs 4: 20-22
  • Give attention: Focus!
  • Incline your ear: Listen!
  • Do not let His words depart from your eyes: Read The Word.
  • Keep them in the midst of your heart: remember them!!
My husband wants to know why wisdom is referred to as a “she”…..
Any answers ladies?

3 Comments

  1. Oooh… wisdom is a she?! I think perhaps it’s because women are good at having active mental habits.

    Reply
  2. Do you recognize God bringing the same subject up to you over and over in a short period of time? He seems to be emphasizing “habits” to me right now, in a book my hubby bought for us to read, and in other blogs and publications I follow. Thank you for being part of God’s teaching to our family! Thanks for the list of scriptures too! Praise Him!

    Reply
  3. Thank you for this advice. May God bless you.

    Reply

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