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It was the philosopher, Aristotle, who said, ‘We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then is not an act, but a habit.’  I find this helpful.  The trouble is that my behaviour isn’t always good.  I develop bad habits!   My intentions are good, but temptation, laziness and selfishness often leads to an inappropriate lifestyle.  Take driving a car as an example.  You have to learn to drive properly to pass your driving test.  However, many who passed their test a while ago might think they are good drivers, but developed bad habits over time.  Rather than being excellent, it is easy for them to become dangerous without realising it.

Maybe today is a day for taking a look at those things we repeatedly do.  Are we proud of our actions and thoughts?  Are there things we should change, with God’s help?  Remember, ‘excellence’ is a good ‘habit’.  There’s a saying, ‘Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.’

A prayer: The words of Saint Paul, ‘Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.’ (Philippians 4:8)

Lord, keep my thoughts pure that appropriate actions may follow. Amen.

Copyright Rev. Anthony D. Miles August 2006
Also found on page 68.  ‘Maybe Today’ by Tony Miles  Published by CWR

Tony is a Superintendent Methodist Minister, broadcaster and author. He is a radio presenter with Premier Christian Radio and a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2's Pause for Thought (5.45 am). Tony is married with two children and four grandchildren.

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