We’re starting off the New Year with a discussion on willpower and self-control and the Bible and science behind it, with author Drew Dyck.

Show Highlights

Drew Dyck is an editor at Moody Publishers and the former managing editor of Leadership Journal. His work has been featured in USA Today, the Huffington Post, Christianity Today, and CNN.com. Drew is the author of Generation Ex-Christian and Yawning at Tigers. He lives with his wife Grace and their three children near Portland, Oregon.

As we all prepare for the New Year, Drew reminds us, don’t despise the small resolutions. Start with two or, even better, just focus on one. You only have so much willpower. Start small but consistent, and if you can power through that 30-60 days of habit formation, it will be cemented in your life. That’s when you can start forming another habit. If you approach it in their incremental way, you’ll have far more success.

Drew was moved to write his book because he realized that he himself needed to grow in the area of self-control. As he start reading about willpower and building healthy habits, he started wondering what he was reading could also help others, especially from the scripture perspective.

Where does scripture play in to self-control and willpower? Drew says, most secular self-help books can be effective, but they do not address one major thing: your priorities. As Christians, we want to have our faith and values, to love God and love our neighbor, as the core motivation for everything that we are doing, even the mundane things should be tied to their spiritual significance.

Drew also points out that though the scripture is filled with stories of struggle, of difficult things that we have to go through, God is always with us. This is not something we can do ourselves. We need the empowerment of God, striving with His spirit, not against it.

Try nailing down where you want to use your willpower by identifying your keystone habits. A keystone habit is one that is not only beneficial in and of itself, but a habit that is beneficial across the spectrum of your life.

For instance, nightly family dinners are observed to have benefits for marriages to last longer, kids to have better grades and more. Exercise is another keystone habit. You not only get healthier, but you also start eating better and your productivity will increase. Another keystone habit, just five minutes of prayer and meditation, can increase your self-control for the day. Bible reading and church attendance are other keystone habits.

Resources Mentioned

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