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Sentence Sermons (Christian Inspiration) #66 --- Habits

Updated on March 28, 2011

Quotations on Habits

If we could make a decimal table of thoughts and actions similar to our table of money, it would run about like this: 10 thoughts make 1 action. 10 actions make 1 habit. 10 habits make 1 destiny.

—H. Stiles Bradley, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 18, 1904.

Habits can be broken only with determination. No exceptions should be allowed. New habits can likewise be formed only with real determination which will allow no exceptions.

—George S. Benson, The Bison, Searcy, Ark., Jan. 11, 1944.

The only way in which to acquire control of our passions is to practice the government of our habits.

—J.B. Cranfill, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, Aug. 24, 1899.

Habits are the result of thought, impulse, purpose, action, and they are both an effect and a cause. ... They determine life and character and lead to success or failure. ... If one will guard his thoughts, impulses and actions, his habits will take care of themselves.

—William M. Anderson, Sr., Dallas Morning News, July 21, 1921.

When temptation comes the only safe thing is "No." The first step is the fatal step. Every suggestion of a new experience should be weighed. A successful ending never follows a wrong beginning. A bad habit is harder unlearned than learned.

—Len G. Broughton, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 20, 1902.

When you try to change a bad habit by fighting against the bad habit, it will get worse. But when you concentrate on a good habit, the bad habit disappears.

—F. Enzio Busche, Latter-Day Sentinel, Portland, Ore., March 8, 1989.

The man who resolves to quit a bad habit at some time in the future summons the devil to strengthen the ties which bind him to it, and he who declares his intention to live for God after a while forewarns the old designer to find him a job he can’t quit at the appointed time.

—S.R. Carruth, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, Feb. 7, 1901.

Habits are the tokens of character. The cleaner and better they are the louder they testify to both the owner and his friends that he is a good man.

—A.J. Gearheard, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., Jan. 23, 1927.

No man is free who is a slave of a habit that destroys his own soul. Good character–strong, manly, self-directing, animated by the desire to be useful and to serve–is the basis of good citizenship; and good citizenship on the part of a majority is essential to the survival of political liberty. People who waste their physical, mental, and moral resources in any form of physical excesses sooner or later become a social and national liability.

—J.A. Hill, Amarillo Times, Amarillo, Texas, Nov. 4, 1948.

The best time to break a bad habit is before it is acquired.

—W.H. Johnson, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, Oct. 19, 1905.

Good habits are power cables that bind a man to Christ.

—Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, Sept. 8, 1920.

The devil's iron chain is often concealed in an innocent habit.

—Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, April 5, 1922.

A good habit is the servant of character.

—Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, July 16, 1925.

Good habits form a cord which bind men to God as golden chains.

—Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, Jan. 28, 1926.

Habit is the foundation upon which the structure of education rests.

There can be no high degree of attainment without the force of habit. It is habit that determines the excellency of any achievement; it gives us the ease and dexterity with which our acts are performed.

The way we have performed an act before determines to a great extent the way it shall be executed again, and with such repetition comes an increased power for its activity.

Habit is not formed by an isolated action, but by a repetition of action; the result being skill or knowledge. ...

Habit may be likened to a brook. The oftener the water flows through a certain channel, the greater the tendency to continue in the same course. ...

This is the fundamental principle of habit. It lessens the conscious effort in the performing of minor details, liberating the intellect to sink its shafts in the mines of knowledge. ...

If habit did not lessen the conscious voluntary effort with which our actions are performed, an action would be as difficult the hundredth time as it was the first, and man never could have emerged from childhood. He would be forgiven within the realm of unformed habits, and forever totally debarred from progress.

—F.W. Jordan, The Journal, Logan, Utah, June 9, 1896.

Habit is largely the expression of established brain paths. Mental images, thoughts or acts that are at first voluntary, become involuntary by repetition, because the repetition gives them fixed form in the soul and embodies them in nerve cells and connecting fibrils. Thus the skeleton of our past thinking and doing is ever appearing in the stream of our consciousness. Nerve paths may be established by our wrong thinking as well as by right thinking. The last step in vice or crime is often inevitable. The first step is invariably one of choice. What is first only an evil thought or desire, by being entertained and persisted in, becomes an integral part of the man, a controlling factor in life and conduct. There is a psychological history back of every crime.

—Newton N. Riddell, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, April 1, 1914.

Many a man tries to break himself of bad habits only after bad habits have broken him.

—Earl Riney, Church Management, Cleveland, Ohio, December 1944.

Bad habits are the result of continual yielding to negative forces.

—Paul Stark Seeley, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 7, 1935.

The more areas of our lives that we can relegate to habit and leave our minds free for important decisions, the more efficient we can become. This, of course, points out the need for forming good habits that we would be willing to have take over the routine matters in our lives.

Many things which ought to be relegated to habit, remain in the conscious decision making areas of our lives and bog them down because of vacillation, confusion and frustration in our attempts to "get out of doing" things we really know ought to be done.

We tell ourselves that we are lovers of freedom. And yet we mistakenly enslave ourselves to inconsequential details which sap our energy, use up our productive time, and stagnate our progress. How can we become efficient in dispatching important matters if we saddle our efforts with encumbered thinking?

Because there are so many things in our daily lives that require thoughtful, prayerful and often bold decisions, it certainly behooves all of us to so order our lives that routine things may be turned into habits, medium important things be organized into schedules, and important matters be given due and proper consideration.

—Arthur H. Strong, El Pampero, Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 1963.

Habit is either the great ally or the great enemy of life, either helping or hindering in the process made by men. Good habits give opportunity for will to act in the line of truth and right, and bad habits make it necessary to use the force of will to overcome their evil influence. Therefore habit is either master or servant, according to whether the real man is in command or is commanded.

A single act of the will may determine for a man which line his life shall follow; it may turn him away from his greatest temptation, and start him on the right road. It is the will to keep going to the right, in spite of habits which turn the other way, that will at length make the new man.

One way of keeping the capacity of exercising the will against odds is to do some difficult and disagreeable work each day, and this is advocated as an excellent practice by some people. One should drive himself to work and to think if one expects to increase in these powers. The soul needs discipline which comes only through overcoming difficulties.

—Frederick M. Bennett, Deseret Evening News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Dec. 30, 1912.

Develop habits which include morally and scripturally acceptable ways of expressing your strong emotions.

—Dale Foster, Searcy Daily Citizen, Searcy, Ark., Aug. 27, 1982.

Habits are easily formed and seldom broken. They may be broken in form, but their spirit lingers through the years. The evil habits of youth may impair the vigor of manhood and are a burden of old age. The habit of sinful indulgence may be despised, but the desire lives on and on.

—B.J.W. Graham, Christian Index, Atlanta, Ga., July 19, 1917.

The reason some are not wedded to one bad habit is because they are courting so many.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Dec. 17, 1905.

Formation is always better than reformation.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Aug. 22, 1909.

The man who boasts of being able to break a bad habit never stops long enough to take up his own bluff.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Nov. 21, 1909.


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