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  • In chapter 8 of How to Grow, Dash builds on the foundation he built in chapter 7. In case you’ve forgotten, chapter 7 is about the absolute necessity that reading/listening to the Bible, prayer, and worship/fellowship within a church are to spiritual growth. These core habits are crucial to our growth as disciples of Christ, and we never graduate in our growth to a place where these aren’t necessary. They are foundational and for always.

    As I said, chapter 7 builds on the three-strong cord of Bible, prayer, and church. In chapter 7 Dash presents six supporting habits; six practices that enrich and enforce the big three. The six habits are: Sabbath—a day for rest free of obligatory tasks and full of joy-enlivening tasks; Generosity—foster growth through giving; Service—help out where your heart is and also where the need is; Evangelism—share the gospel with those you come in contact with; and Healthy Living—care for your body with an eye for nutrition and exercise. But wait…isn’t there supposed to be six support habits? I’ve only listed five. Yes there are six and I’ve left out the sixth because it requires more explanation than the others.

    The first five supporting habits are generally understood. Make no mistake, Dash gives some wise tips and tools in regards to the first five habits. There is some very helpful instruction in regards to those things. Nevertheless, I think we understand what those things are about. The sixth habit will not be as easily understood: Create a Rule of Life.

    Dash explains precisely what he means by create a rule of life instructing, a “Rule of Life" is a set of healthy habits that provide direction and growth in our lives.” This final supporting habit is about creating and nurturing rhythms and relationships in your life to promote growth. We are to take the three core habits and the five supporting habits and customize our habits for the greatest good in our growth in godliness.

    For instance, plan to read your Bible at the time of day where you are most alert and most helped by God’s Word. Or, ask yourself the question, “Does my work rhythm lend itself to regular rest?” If not, how can you plan your life to incorporate it? Be purposeful in regards to the habits—both core and supporting—by thinking through your roles and responsibilities.

    The sixth supporting habit is to mind your habits. Organize, plan, and integrate them in ways that help you grow.

    These six habits bolster the core habits helping you to maintain a pattern of living that prepares you to grow and then promotes the growth of God’s grace in your life. Take some time to think through these suggested practices; I can’t imagine a situation in which a disciple would not benefit from discipline in these areas.

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