Lyle Reflects on Habits Forming Us

I would have enjoyed introducing Lyle to the writing of David Fitch. After all, he did read Mark Noll. And, if he knew that Fitch’s latest book references Noll a bit, I am certain he would be intrigued.

But, the greater teaser would be to tell Lyle that David Fitch seems to be pounding the table about some of the same things Dallas Willard did and does. Yes, that would get Lyle’s attention.

We made a trip to Dallas to hear Dallas. There were five of us. My friend Rick Davis had invited to Dallas Willard to speak at an event for Texas Baptists. I don’t want to take too much credit, but the storyline is that Rick called and said who would you drive to Texas to hear. I mentioned Dallas Willard.

I could sidetrack this post with sides stories about the trip but then that would be forming a bad habit. To date, I have sought to set up a post Lyle offered. If I deviated from what I had been doing, then that would be to practice a new habit that would form this series differently than it began.

If you caught that, then you understand that one thing Dallas Willard asserts is that our habits form us. David Fitch’s new book explores the same subject from a different angle. If our habits as Jesus followers do not form us to be formed into the image or likeness of Jesus then our habits need “re-forming.”

Here are Lyle’s thoughts.



Dallas in Dallas

I had to speak on hearing Dallas Willard in person. His humility struck me as much as his complete understanding of what he spoke on. When people asked him questions that some of us might think were lame, he responded with the utmost kindness and gentleness, giving comfort to the questioner while politely disagreeing. 

His message in one way was simple and in another way quite profound. This man was living what he believes and he is doing what Jesus tells all of us to do. Our mission statement for our Churches should be that we teach people how to do what Jesus says. If we could do that then, for example, all inter dominational squabbling would cease or members would not leave churches when their feelings get hurt. One because they would learn not let their feelings get hurt and two, others would learn how to keep from hurting someone’s feelings. After all if Jesus commands us to love our enemies surely we can love our fellow Christians. No?

If I could learn the discipline of servanthood and/or submission like Dr. Willard lives it, then my life would certainly impact those around me in a more positive way. Perhaps causing people to ask,”what is different about you?” If no one is asking us this question then a thoughtful re-examination of our relationship with Christ may be in order.



About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.

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