7 Good Habits in the Bible to Apply in Your Own Life

God’s Word is filled with great examples for us to follow! In this post, we’ll explore some good habits in the Bible, the characters who exemplified them, and how we can do likewise.

good habits in the Bible

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If you’re human, you know the frustration… of being stuck in a bad habit, or being unable to get a good habit to stick. Ugh.

Don’t even get me started about all the bad habits I’ve had (or still have)… the midnight snacking, being chronically late, etc. And then there’s the good habits I’ve struggled to keep, like brushing my teeth at night (I finally did nail that one, just because I had my wisdom teeth out and was petrified that the holes might become infected before they healed up completely! In that case, a little fear was a good thing, to help me establish the habit of brushing my teeth every night without fail).

C’mon, now, you know you have some habit struggles too!

And yet, it’s so beneficial when we can learn to create and keep good habits in our lives. Especially when it comes to applying the principles of life from the Word of God.

Having good, Godly habits can make a big difference in our Christian walk! When we have those good practices in place, we can do a better job of focusing on Jesus, loving our neighbors well, and so much more.

But you know, easier said than done, right? I’ve been on God’s green earth for 36 years so far, and I still feel like there’s so much more I need to learn about cultivating and keeping good habits (and, ditching bad ones!)

If you’re right there with me, then let’s explore this topic of Godly habits together.

good habits in the Bible

7 Good Habits in the Bible

So, first things first: What kind of good habits should we be cultivating as Christians? Forget about the copious examples of bad habits in the Bible… let’s look for those exemplary Bible characters with good habits. I’m talking about great, heart-after-God people like David, Daniel, and even Jesus Himself.

So, what great examples of Godly habits can we learn from these Bible characters?

1) Consistency and dedication in prayer

Lots of people in the Bible were great at praying… but no one stands out to me quite like Daniel. Here is a man who had a consistent prayer time with God, and even when he was threatened with a one-way trip to the lion’s den, he still prayed as he normally would. (Read the whole story in Daniel 6).

The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. […] Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
Daniel 6:7, 10 (NIV)

From Daniel’s story, we see not only his example of praying consistently, but praying even when under duress!

strong prayer life

This makes me think of all the times I could’ve prayed before eating at a restaurant, but didn’t because it was a public place and I felt uncomfortable doing so. Or how many times I refrained from offering to pray for someone, because I know they’re not a Christian and might react negatively to my offer.

What ways might you and I be not only more consistent in our prayer time, but BOLD and COURAGEOUS to pray even when praying might be embarrassing or get us in trouble?

2) Taking time to rest, even when life is hectic

Okay, as a person with narcolepsy who is perpetually exhausted, I must say that I LOVE Jesus’ approach to rest. And I feel like rest is a habit that very few of us in the modern world do well. But there was Jesus, with the weight of the world on His shoulders, and He still made time for rest!

First, there’s Jesus’ diligent practice of solitary prayer time. He knew when He needed spiritual replenishment, and He did what was necessary to get that—even with all the demands on His time and attention!

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Luke 5:16 (NIV)

And then, there’s the time Jesus was SLEEPING during a STORM. I find this absolutely stunning! There was trouble all around, the disciples were freaking out, and yet Jesus was asleep!!!

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Mark 4:37-40 (NIV)

I don’t know about you, but that really makes me think: How can I be more calm, and take time to rest, even when there’s a ‘storm’ swirling around me? Jesus knew God the Father had everything under control, in spite of how things looked on the surface. He knew it was more important to rest, than to worry.

3) Praising God, regardless of the circumstances

This is definitely one of those good habits in the Bible that I want to practice more… to praise God all day every day, regardless of what’s happening in my life. King David was awesome about this. Just look at all the chaos David endured (particularly running from Saul, who wanted him dead), and yet so many of the Psalms written by David were full of praise.

The one thing I ask of the Lord—
the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
delighting in the Lord’s perfections
and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
he will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Then I will hold my head high
above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
singing and praising the Lord with music.

Psalm 27:4-6 (NLT)

worship and depend on God

Clearly, David cultivated a habit of praising God, no matter what. Shouldn’t you and I do the same? Certainly we have so many great reasons to praise the Lord!

4) Giving generously

When it comes to principles of Godly living, generosity is way up at the top of the list. In Deuteronomy 15:7-8, the Lord commands the Israelites to “not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be.” And I love the example Boaz gives us, as he not only allowed Ruth to glean in his field, but he commanded his workers to leave some stalks behind especially for her to pick up.

So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.”
Ruth 2:8-9 (NIV)

As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.”
Ruth 2:15-16 (NIV)

generous heart

This makes me think, how can I be more generous to those in need? How can I not just give, but do something to make life easier for someone else? Perhaps a good example might be, dropping off some surplus tomatoes on a neighbors’ doorstep, along with a great recipe and the other ingredients they would need to make that recipe. 😉

5) Sharing consistently

Similarly, sharing is also a good Godly habit to develop. In Acts 4:32-35, the people of the early church shared what they had, so no one went without. Of course, sharing can be the same as giving… but it can also look more like lending something to someone, trading resources (bartering), or just sharing your time (listening and giving your attention).

All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had.
Acts 4:32 (NLT)

6) Always forgiving, even when it’s hard

This is tough, I know—but so imperative! It’s perhaps one of the most important habits in the Bible that we’re called to adopt. And no one else modeled it so perfectly as Jesus did. Not only did He forgive countless people throughout His ministry (adulterers, greedy tax collectors, prostitutes, etc.), but most stunningly, He forgave the very people who crucified Him. Jesus most certainly had a strong ‘habit’ of forgiving people.

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
Luke 23:33-34 (NIV)

And He calls us to do the same!

For if you forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others [nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses.
Matthew 6:14-15 (AMP)

7) Making right choices, time after time

The last of these good habits in the Bible, is more of a general-right-living kind of thing. In other words, it’s the habit of making good, Godly choices. It’s about turning away from the option to sin, and choosing instead to do what’s right and glorifying to God.

For this, I think Joseph gives a great example. In fact, of all the lessons from Bible characters, Joseph’s is my favorite. After being betrayed by his own brothers, sold into slavery, and all the struggles and setbacks he experienced, he could’ve easily chosen to be bitter and vengeful—but instead he was patient, forgiving, diligent, and God-honoring. (If you’ve never read Joseph’s whole life story, check it out in Genesis chapter 37, and chapters 39-50.)

Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.
Genesis 39:6-10 (NIV)

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
Genesis 45:4-7 (NIV)

I don’t know about you, but I want to be more like Joseph!

woman walking towards cross

How do you develop a Godly habit?

Do you see one of these good habits in the Bible that you’d especially like to cultivate in yourself? If so, I know you’re wondering the same thing I often do: How do we actually apply these Biblical principles of life, so that they become ingrained in our everyday behavior?

Thankfully, there ARE some practical ways you and I can become better at developing Godly habits (not to mention, good healthy habits in all areas of life). From everything I’ve learned thus far in my life, it comes down to three key things: starting, being consistent in the short-term, and being consistent in the long-term. Let me explain…

1) Get started!

For any new habit, we have to DETERMINE that we’re going to START. For Godly habits, that could mean repenting of a past sin, replacing temptation with a new behavior going forward, changing our mindset about the issue, and so forth.

It’s always a great idea to PRAY about it. And then, develop a plan as to how you’re going to establish that new habit. Of course, there are plenty of habits that can be cultivated gradually over time, but for some things, you might need to take a more targeted, proactive approach.

Write out specific goals, rewards, consequences, whatever… and get yourself a good habit tracker to keep tabs on your progress. Also, don’t forget about the power of outside accountability… tell your family member or friend what you’re up to, so you have that extra incentive to follow through.

2) Be consistent over time!

I’ve learned this the hard way… for any good habit to stick, it needs to be followed consistently for at least a month or more. Case in point, for years I would exercise sporadically a few days a week. But it wasn’t until I started exercising 5 days a week on specific days, and continued to do that week after week, that eventually it became a solid habit.

You know you’ve successfully build a solid habit, when you can’t imagine NOT doing that thing, and if you do end up skipping/changing that habit, it feels really strange. Like, how could I possibly not pray every morning? I would miss that time with God!

3) Keep it up (so it will remain a habit)!

And lastly, when developing Godly habits, it’s imperative to CONTINUE to be consistent in the long term. Maybe you, like I, have fallen out of the habit of doing something good, that you used to always do, but now you don’t anymore.

I’ve learned the hard way that if I skip something once, and then I skip it again next week, and twice more the following week, I may end up losing that good habit altogether. Maybe that’s why Corrie Ten Boom said: “Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it.” Not only because it’s good to spend time communing with God, but because if we fail to keep that appointment here and there, we might fall out of the habit altogether.

So, there you have it! There are lots of good habits in the Bible to cultivate in your own life, and with a few smart steps and deliberate actions, you can do just that. And whatever good habits you attempt to cultivate, commit those plans to the Lord, and trust Him to make you a shining example of His love.

Need a great tool, to cultivate Godly habits? The Divine Faith Planner will help you to be more intentional with your life, and to commit your plans to the Lord.

Divine Faith Planner

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