Breaking Habits

Do you have any habits? Have you figured out if they are good or bad? The reality is that habits form; they become embedded in our neurons, and to a large extent, they carry us through our daily lives.

Without a doubt, you have lots of good habits: brushing your teeth, putting your garbage out on the curb on Monday nights (that’s my habit, you may have a different night!), going to the gym, etc.

But chances are, you have picked up some bad habits along the way, as well. I have a friend who used to go to the fridge at 10 PM, every evening, and pour himself a tall glass of milk and eat one of the three rows that an Oreo cookie package contains (I swear it’s not me…it really was a friend of mine back in Missouri – he probably still has this same habit.)

The funny thing is, my friend wanted to break his Oreo habit, but he explained to me, “About 9:45 PM, those cookies start calling to me. Hey, are you coming in for the milk? Hey, it’s almost cookie time!”

Of course, we understand, the cookies truly weren’t calling my buddy (unless that is a new Oreo product?), it was his internal cookie habit that was calling him. And as much as he said he wanted to break that habit, his willpower alone was not enough to keep him out of the kitchen.

Willpower is an amazing gift from God; part of how we are fearfully and wonderfully made, but on it’s own, in the battle against our bad habits, willpower is a knife in a gunfight. To truly break the embedded processes in our neurons, we need to make wise decisions. We need to ask God for wisdom and strength and allow Him to come alongside us and fortify our willpower through seeking his will.

As a guy who has walked through this process with God, as He delivered me from alcohol addiction, I can promise it works and it draws us closer to God. And honestly, it is better than any alternatives to trying to break a habit on our own.

When I was 12 years old, I picked up one of my Mother’s lit cigarettes from the ashtray and thought I would take a puff (just to see what all the fuss was about). My Mother caught me, and very wisely instructed me to eat the cigarette (she didn’t want any part of me picking up that habit at a young age!).

Well, I informed her that the cigarette was lit, but she simply told me to start at the other end! After two bites (and a half hour in the bathroom…if you know what I mean), I made the decision I was never going to touch another cigarette, and I have kept that promise!

So, you make the call. Do you want to take your bad habits to God and allow Him to pick you up and carry you through the process to break those bonds, or do you want to have to eat a cigarette? The choice is yours; please choose wisely!

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