Know My Habits, Know My Heart
There is an ancient proverb that states: "Know my habits, know my heart." Although there is no explicit declaration of this thought in the Bible, I believe the proverb is true and can be substantiated from God's word.

Let us consider Luke 4:16 for evidence. Here is an excerpt from the life of Jesus Christ - "So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read."

I believe Jesus' life manifests the truthfulness of the proverb: "Know my habits, know my heart." It was Jesus' custom or habit to go to the synagogue to worship and to teach. One might rightly assume that doing such was important to Jesus since it was a habit of His. In our lives, do we not show others what is truly important to us by our habits? Do we not reveal our hearts (to a certain extent) via our habits?

I have heard various individuals affirm that it is possible to discern the values that any person holds dear if access is granted to only two documents. Two documents hold the secrets and values of a man's heart--one's checkbook and daily planner. I understand that very few people keep track of all transactions via a checkbook and very few people document everything they do with their time in a daily planner. But, if these two sources of information were complete and accurate in every detail (i.e., they showed where every cent and second of one's life went), it would be an easy task to determine what is really treasured by the individual. If we know exactly how a person spends his time and money, will we not know his habits? And, if we know his habits, will we not know his heart by that which he cherishes? It is certainly the case that everything that is truly important to me is reflected in my checkbook and my daily planner.

Although it may take some time and effort, I highly recommend that everyone analyze how they spend their time and money. A life that is not examined and reflected upon is often full of waste. I suspect that many people wander blindly through life without much contemplation upon their own habits. They simply pursue what interests them with little thought of the big picture. They may one day awake to the sad reality that their time and money are gone, and both have been squandered. Where do the 168 hours of your week go? Where does the money you earn each week go? Are your time and money consumed with selfish habits or strictly materialistic pursuits? Is your heart focused on yourself or is it centered upon the Lord and how you can serve others? The way you spend your time and money shows others a glimpse into your heart. What do they see?

Now, let's get back to the example of Christ in Luke 4:16. Jesus had habits just like everyone else and this verse gives us some insight into the values that Jesus held dear. Note that He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath "as His custom was." Jesus had, over a long process of time, developed the habit of going into the synagogue for the express purpose of worship on the Sabbath. His custom was one developed of His own volition and not by force of another. In the synagogue He could associate with others who respected God's laws and shared His view of their importance. He could read from the inspired Scriptures, God's divine source of wisdom. He could discuss how the Scriptures applied to His own life and to the lives of those about Him. The fact that Jesus habitually visited the synagogue on a weekly basis reveals much about the character of Christ.

It is most unfortunate that some today will affirm: "I can be a Christian without going to church every Sunday!" Dear friends, with Jesus' custom of attending the synagogue in view, I wonder if an informed person would make this argument to Him? Although we are unable to fully know the hearts of our fellow human beings, the Lord is not hindered in this way. He knows our habits and our hearts! But, each one must ask himself: Do I know my habits and what they communicate about my heart? "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" (Matt. 13:9).