'You'll never change your life until you change something you do daily.' John C Maxwell
When it comes to faith, we can find ourselves craving spontaneity - an unexpected intervention from God, a sudden surge of enthusiasm to tell a stranger about Jesus or an overwhelming feeling of serenity in the midst of a crisis. While these things can all be marvellous demonstrations that God is at work in our lives, there's much to be said for the unglamorous mediocrity of routine.
Routine is essential if we're to develop a strong and substantial faith and relationship with Christ. When we think about how we're defined by what we do every day in so many other areas of our lives, it makes sense that this carries over into our spiritual life.
For example, we're so often defined by our jobs – doctor, teacher, politician - and the mode of transport we take – driver, commuter, cyclist.
Surely it shouldn't be any different with our faith? If we're full time Christians, then our daily activities should reflect that identity. In essence, if we are Christians, our Christianity should define us.
Here are five things that we can do every day to help make that the case.
Spend time talking to God
Most of us don't go a day without talking to someone but not all of us can say the same for how often we talk with God. Make some space in your diary to catch up with God during the day, even if it's just a few minutes to thank him for the glorious weather. And if the weather is really great, find a peaceful section of a park where you can let the beauty of his creations - birds flying freely, trees blowing in the wind - stimulate your prayer.
Set time aside for the Word of God
God's word provides the blocks upon which we build our faith so it's essential that we continually familiarise ourselves with it. Don't be put off if you can't read or meditate over extensive chunks in one go, a shorter verse can have as much an impact. It's a great idea to start as we mean to go on so why not sign up to devotional emails that arrive in your inbox as you commute to work, or instead of browsing Instagram for the latest content each morning, head straight to an account with posts of Bible verses and meditate on one. Speaking of which, we have one right here
Bless someone with an unexpected act of kindness
As Christians, we endeavour to live out our faith at every opportunity and good deeds are one of many ways that we can put our faith into action. Try and be more attentive to the needs of others, whether it's a friend having a hard time at school that you can help by giving up part of your lunch break to explain the part of the syllabus they're struggling with, or a single parent juggling work and home that you can babysit for.
Write a thank you note
Just as we overlook the unspectacular things that people do for us every day, so it's easy to do the same in the context of God's blessings. Send a thank you note to someone who's always there for you. The difference this can make to their day will be well worth the short time it takes you to show your appreciation, and of course, it doesn't need to be literal, it can be metaphorical too. If we make doing this as part of our everyday routine, we'll soon start to see how much God has blessed us with. And when we pray at the end of the day, we'll have plenty in our mind to thank Him for too.
Regularly forgiving others unconditionally is one way to remind ourselves of how Jesus gave his life so that we could be forgiven. But forgiveness takes daily work. By the end of each day, try to have taken steps towards forgiving anyone who has angered, annoyed or upset you. You can do this by talking the issue over with God and taking some space to put the conflict into context. It also helps to read Scriptures that emphasise forgiveness. Equally powerful can be a time of contemplation on the things God has forgiven you. You might not be able to forgive each person within 24 hours but making the effort to do so means you're well on your way.
Read more on forgiveness here: