Getting into good trouble

By Dave Henning / March 21, 2022

“The best way to stay out of bad trouble is getting into good trouble!  You need a vision that’s bigger and better than the temptation you face.  It’s one method of habit switching.  The best way to break a bad habit is by building a good habit.  That’s how we interrupt the pattern and alter the habit cycle.”- Mark Batterson

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.  Therefore, be shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”- Matthew 10:16 (NIV)

On Day 17 (“Live Not by Lies”) of Do It for a Day, Mark Batterson talks about Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s admonition to live not by lies.  Published on the eve of his exile, the author underscored that to live not by lies “will not be . . . an easy choice for the body, but [it is] the only one for the soul.”

First, though, Pastor Batterson stresses what live not by lies isn’t.  It’s not virtue signaling – where you give lip service to make yourself look or feel better.  Because that’s really a subtle form of self-righteousness.  As Mark observes, it’s an approach that’s heavy in speech but light on action.

Instead, Mark states, living not by lies is:

  • refusing to bow to cultural idols and ideologies that fail to pass the truth test
  • living according to your convictions while showing compassion to those with differing viewpoints
  • risking your reputation for that which you believe to be good, right, and true
  • speaking truth to power and speaking the truth in love
  • a conscience taken captive by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit

Therefore, Pastor Batterson counsels, if you’ve gotten derailed making or breaking a habit, hit the reset button.  For habit formation always results in a few false starts.  Hence, it’s time for a fresh start.

Finally, Mark reminds us of awareness training, discussed on day 5.  Awareness training involves taking inventory of your triggers.  As Nathan Acria observes, “once you’re aware of how your habit works, once you recognize the cues and rewards, you’re halfway to changing it.”

Today’s question: What does getting into good trouble mean to you?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: HALT moments – some of the easiest footholds”

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Dave Henning

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