Alrighty. So we’ve identified a habit (or several!) that we want to kick to the curb. Now what?
Due to the nature of habits, the fact that we do them without thinking, they’re hard to quit. We must be intentional. And it’s SO much easier said than done.
It took me years to stop chewing on my hangnails. And I still find myself wanting to at times.
And I’ve tried before to start better habits with managing the house, and with keeping my calm with the kids, and with not losing myself in mindless activities when it all feels like too much. But still I struggle. Still I fail.
The verse I included in my post yesterday, about doing all to the glory of God . . . It was sticking in my head and seemed to be screaming at me ALL THINGS! ALL THINGS! EVEN THOSE YOU DON’T THINK ABOUT!!! ALL THINGS!!!!!
What to do?
The first order of business, I believe, must be to seek forgiveness. From God, certainly.
Lord, so many of my habits are not pleasing to You. Forgive me for my weakness in indulging them, and for my complacency in not quitting them sooner. Give me strength as I move forward to end those things that do not glorify You, and to gain those habits which lend themselves to a God-pleasing life. Amen.
From whom else must we seek forgiveness? My husband and I have been talking a lot lately about our habits, and how we need to make better ones. We’ve sought forgiveness from one another for those habits that have hurt one another. After coming home from a long day at work, when the house is a wreck and dinner not even thawed, I hurt him by my inability to manage my day. Maybe I get caught up in trying to finish laundry and neglect everything else. Maybe I hit my stride with writing my novel and all else falls by the wayside. Or maybe I’m just tired and overwhelmed by it all and retreat into myself and distract myself with silly things like Candy Crush Saga.
Husband, I’m sorry for my habits which have hurt you. Please forgive me.
Children, I’m sorry . . .
Friends, I’m sorry . . .
It’s no fun to admit you’re wrong. But those relationships, which heal and are stronger for it, will be a support to you in your work at overcoming the bad habits in life.
After Jesus calls Matthew to follow him, some of the Pharisees and scribes are grumbling about Him associating with sinners. Jesus ends his rebuke by saying, “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” (Lk 5:32 ESV).
That’s me! That’s you! We all sin. No one is perfect, not one. Once we realize our fallen state, realize our fault, our bad habits, we throw ourselves at the foot of the cross and cling to it. For God has promised mercy to all who repent and who believe. Even His children stumble.
My bad habits are a bad stumbling point for me; I barely even realize I’m doing them.
So, today, I urge you to seek out those whom your bad habits have hurt. Be reconciled with them, ask them to pray for you, to encourage you in your fight to rid yourself of them. And most especially, seek God’s strength and encouragement, found in His Word.