A bad habit is a behavior or practice so ingrained in a person that he often does it without consciously thinking about it. Such a pattern of behavior is formed through continual repetition. There are good habits and bad habits. Jesus had a custom of going into the temple on the Sabbath day (Luke 4:16). Daniel had a habit of kneeling three times a day to pray and give God thanks (Daniel 6:10). Since childhood, Jehoiakim, king of Judah, was used to disobeying the voice of God (Jeremiah 22:21).
God is not pleased with our bad habits, that is, our bad behavior or practices. These bad habits include lying, gluttony, lateness, slothfulness, gossiping, fornication and anger. The Bible refers to these as “works of the flesh” (Galatians 5: 19 – 21).
Is it possible to live without any bad habits? After all, we are human? Yes, it is possible. God has given us the Holy Spirit as our Teacher, Helper and Counselor (John 14:26). He has given us the fruit of the Spirit, which include temperance or self-control (Galatians 5:22, 23). His divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). We cannot make excuses for our bad habits. Surrender to God today. Cry out for help. Avoid pollution, your old ways and company.
Jesus is our example; He had no bad habits. He is holy (Revelation 3:7) and he knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). He has called us to perfection, that is, “growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity” (Matthew 5:48, Amp). Our character and way of thinking should reflect Christ.
Let us look at some steps that we may take to overcome bad habits.
Firstly, figure out the bad habit. Identify it. You must know what is wrong and where you need to be.
Secondly, be real and blunt with yourself. Apostle Paul was tough on himself (Romans 7:18-24; 1 Corinthians 9:27).
Tell an authority figure. The problem you hide, hides you. Tell your pastor, father, mentor or someone else that you look up to, about the issues with which you are struggling. Set up a time for review. Have witnesses and testify about your progress.
Determine to change. Nobody will force you. You must be willing to change.
Start with small steps. Depending on the habit, it may be necessary to wean yourself off gradually.
Set reasonable targets. For example, if you arrived at church this week at 9:30 am, set a goal to be there by 9:15 am next week.
Review constantly and reward yourself generously for the little successes. Do not beat up yourself when you miss it. There is hope for you.
Everybody has habits. The question is: Are they good or bad? If they are bad, get rid of them. Bad behavior and practices bring no pleasure to God; His eyes are too good to behold evil (Habakkuk 1:13). Jeremiah 13: 23 says: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to evil.” It is very unlikely for a person who is accustomed to doing evil, to stop abruptly and start doing what is right. He must be willing, and definite steps must be taken if he is to break that bad habit.
The devil does not want you to be an over comer, but God has given you the spirit of discipline and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7). You are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37.
List the top five habits in your life
Truly repent of them before God
Cry out to God for deliverance today
Praise God for hat He has been doing and what He will do throughout this year.
Chuzzy Udenwa is the Senior Pastor of Glory House World Church, Atlanta. As a former journalist, he has authored several books. His vision is to empower, equip and activate every believer to live victoriously in all areas of life. He and his wife Sharon emphasize purity and integrity in daily living. Visit:www.pastorchuzzy.com for more information.