2 July 2013 by Mindy Oon CM –
A habit is something that we repeatedly do over time. It is part of our normal routine, and most of the time we do it automatically. We have both good habits and bad habits and at times, our bad habits seem to have a hold on us, but a bad habit can always be turned around. However, most of the time we want God to suddenly deliver us from our bad habits without any effort on our part – we do not want to go through the discomfort & inconvenience of breaking a bad habit!
How Long Does It Take To Form A Habit?
Some people say it take twenty-one days to form a habit. The following is Joyce Meyer’s testimony on quitting cigarettes.
‘I used to smoke many years ago. And when God started convicting me to quit, I didn’t want to do it – and it was very hard for me to stop. In fact, it took several attempts to quit before I broke this habit. When I reached the point of sheer determination to quit, the first day was bad. The second day wasn’t much better. I made it to the weekend but the my husband Dave and I had an argument at a picnic and I ended up leaving on my own to go buy a pack of cigarettes. My plan was to smoke the whole pack.
You see, when we’re trying to form a new habit, there comes what I call a ‘crisis point’. That day at the picnic, I reached my crisis point. After I got those cigarettes, I sat there and thought,’If I smoke these right now, I’m likely to be doing it the rest of my life and I’m not going to do that’. So I took every single cigarette out of the package and threw them in the toilet.
Every now and the, I’d think: I want a cigarette. But after about thirty days, I could tell my desire to smoke had changed. I just didn’t want to do it. And I never smoked another cigarette again’
Sometimes, we think we are unable to break a habit and can only see the giant that we have to overcome. However, all we need to do is to give God control one day at a time. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says ‘No temptation has overtaken you except such as in common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it’.
You are NOT Wimpy or Weak-Willed
We are children of God, and we have the power of the Holy Spirit in us. We have been given the authority over the enemy, and we need to know who we are in Christ and remind ourselves that His Spirit is alive and active in us! We need to say “Not getting my way in this is good for me. It doesn’t matter that I have to be uncomfortable a little while, because I am going to have the freedom and blessing that comes from doing what God wants me to do.”
Galatians 5:22-23 says ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.’ Understand that we need God’s help to succeed, and that we cannot change without His help. Thankfully, with help from the Holy Spirit, we can have self-control and break habits that do not benefit us.
End Well at the Finishing Line
If we want to improve ourselves, we need to think about the person we are right now, and the person that we want to be, and then jot down a few habits that can help us get there. Every good choice we make is a step that brings us closer to success. Romans 12:21 says ‘Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.’ As such we should not even think about the bad habits that we have. Instead, focus and concentrate on making good ones, and replace the bad habits with those that are good.
We need to do everything we can to stay in the Spirit – read the word and meditate on it, set time aside for prayer, be with people who will build us up spiritually. Together with God, one day at a time, we are overcomers who can do anything!
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