None of us are exempt
We all have bad habits. None of us are exempt. Though we may wish that we were. However there is a way to get rid of them. We must learn to replace our ugly habits with good ones! It sounds easy enough, but it can be hard. Yet, it is required of us all.
More than quirks
When we give our lives to Christ we become new. All of us are told to turn from our sinful ways. A lot of the times we don’t view our bad habits as sin. We usually view them as quirks in our personalities. “That’s just the way I am!” That’s a favorite excuse. But I’ve got a newsflash for you. That’s not just the way you are. There I said it. They are not just quirks in our personalities. Bad habits are sins that need to be shed.
Changing your mind
It is possible for us to get rid of our bad habits. But it’s not easy. It won’t happen overnight. And it starts with your thoughts. Philippians 4:8 tells us
“Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
To start changing or actions we have to start changing our thoughts as well. Because we usually act out what we think about. This is why it’s very important to be careful about what you allow to enter into your spirit through your eyes, and ears. This is something that we hear as Christians often because it’s so true.
The things that we are told to think on in Philippians 4:8 applies to us all. Once we gain control of our thoughts and think on the things of God we can start to get a grip on our bad habits and change them. If your habits have turned into strongholds it gets more complicated and can take a longer time to overcome. But they can be overcome with God’s help, and yes, sometimes professional help.
Start confessing them to God if you haven’t already and repent of your sin. Resolve to give the sin up; lay it down. Jesus said that He will help us carry our burden, but you have to give them to Him. Ask Him for strength. And start memorizing scriptures that will help you with whatever your struggle is. When the temptation comes to do wrong speak them out loud. If you are in a public place you can speak them quietly under your breath. Write them down on index cards and take them with you so you have them with you at all times until you memorize them.
Renewing your mind
Read your Bible daily. Many of us don’t do this enough. But it’s so important. The Bible tells us that our minds are renewed through the reading of God’s Word. (Ephesians 4:23 KJV) If you aren’t feeding on the Word of God, how can you fill your mind with the right thoughts that will bring about right action? We do not live by bread alone but be every word from the word of God (Luke 4:4 KJV) So we must renew our minds daily (Ephesians 4:23 KJV)
Keep your eyes on God
You may feel that your “little bad habit” is not so bad. It’s not as big as some that others struggle with. That may actually be true. It may not be a “big bad habit”. But “bad” habits can keep our eyes off God. Or even cause harm to us physically, hurt our relationships and more depending on the habit or addiction. Anything that takes our eyes off of God, or has the potential to, needs to be let go. We must stay away from all temptation.
1 Corinthians 10:12 says “Wherefore [for which reason] let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”
Temptation can lead to sin if we are not careful. No one is so above temptation that they can’t fall. That’s why we need to be careful and nip bad habits in the bud and stop them in their tracks. You must guard your heart and mind. The changing of bad habits to good habits will not be easy. It will not happen overnight. The Apostle Paul spoke of doing the things he hated when he really wanted to do right. “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” (Romans 7:15 KJV)
You will struggle just like Paul. We all do. But nothing is too big for God! Stay in prayer. Read your Bible daily to renew your mind. Start taking your thoughts captive. Think on the things of God. And one day at a time start replacing your bad habits with good ones. With God you will be able to overcome anything. One day you are going to realize that particular sin no longer has a hold on you. Then be mindful so you don’t fall back into it. It will take a while, but you can do it. I’m praying for you!
Has God helped any of you overcome a bad habit? It doesn’t have to be a “big” sin/habit. Though that would be an encouragement to others. Has God helped you overcome the destruction of you temple [body] by freeing you from overeating, smoking, drugs? Or cursing, lying, uncontrolled anger? Share your testimony in the comments below.
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Haneefah Turner © Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved.