The Value of Rituals

Many people follow empty religious rituals, or even practice evil and harmful ceremonies. We should be careful to avoid such sinful practices and we certainly do not want our faith in Christ to be simply ritualistic.

But there is great value in developing healthy habits into our lives. Rituals in a positive sense are simply highly purposeful habits. They are practices that are always done in a particular situation and in more or less the same way.

Research shows that as little as 5 percent of our behaviors are consciously self-directed. As creatures of habit, most of what we do occurs rather automatically. This where is regular practices or “rituals,” if you will, fit in. Rituals are precise, consciously acquired behaviors that become habitual in our lives, driven by a deep sense of purpose. If done wisely such practices build structure, rhythm and purpose into our daily lives.

These are not magical formulas, and they certainly are not practices that merit salvation. We are wonderfully free in the Spirit of Christ, and our salvation and standing before God is all of grace. We must never loose sight of this.

But we live in a culture that has neglected healthy Christian practices — ones designed to help balance and enrich the structure of our daily lives, healthy habits that help us to flourish as God’s people. Most important are habits of daily prayer and Bible reading, of regular worship, and the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Ask the Lord to enable you to establish healthy habits that will help you grow in your faith — then practice these “rituals” with a relentless passion and purpose.