Highlands Blog

How To Break Bad Habits & Develop Better Ones

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Posted in Highlands Blog under Character, Personal Growth

How to Break Bad Habits (man sitting on bench with angel and devil over his shoulders)

In a word, the daily life of the Christian is described by, Walk. This simple term captures the idea of incremental routine, of ‘steps’. All of us generally ‘go’ somewhere everyday and usually it is the same places (duties/responsibilities) and at the same pace (again, think: routine). But how we do these things—these everyday things—varies in quality, but more importantly, in godliness.

Personal evaluation is vital for sanctification. Growing in Christ and living out our faith is to be natural; habitual. But what if our living habits produce a substandard life compared to what we are offered in Christ? How do we escape the gravitational pull of mediocrity (or down-right sin) so that we might live our life more abundantly to the glory of God?

Here are some considerations:

Schedule Your Time

Start with a day or a week and stay on track. Usually when a person does a schedule they tend to not plan for times of idleness or indulgence. Most everything that makes the list is good and beneficial for the individual, family, business, ministry, friends, etc.

The list also organizes your ‘walk’ toward profit, growth, service, care, and all the other virtues of a Christian life. I don’t know anyone who pencils in: Sin @ 3:00 on Thursday.

Seek To Glorify God In All That You Do

I still remember an exchange that took place years ago in a seminary class between Dr R.C. Sproul Sr. and a student who had asked him how a person could overcome a particular sin that they were struggling with. Dr. Sproul counseled the young man to focus on glorifying God rather than concentrating on “not sinning anymore”.

I’ve always thought that advice was brilliant (as well as biblical) in that the point of temptation now has a higher goal.

It certainly doesn’t have to be a sin that we are avoiding in order to have as our aspiration, to glorify God in all that we do. That simply is our calling and if we strive for that, then all that incorporates our daily walk will be influenced by His will rather than our own.

Consider How Deeply You Love God

Our motivations are born out of and driven by desire. We generally do what we want to do. We do what we love and if we are in love with ourselves, then our daily walk—all of our habits—will reflect that self-affection.

In his brilliant book, You Are What You Love, James K.A. Smith focuses on this very subject by explaining to the reader that love and desire is the strongest force in a person’s life.

Love for God, an ongoing gratitude for what He has done for us, will keep bad habits and a mediocre life at bay because there is simply no desire for such things.

Finally, Confess Your Sins

Yeah, this is can be a tough one and I’m not talking about just previous and heinous sins but everyday transgressions against God and neighbor like: how you waste time or how you speak unkindly to your spouse or children or what you choose for entertainment or how you blow your money. We all have weakness and vice that perhaps only confessing such to another member of the body of Christ will effect change.

I do hope that this helps you consider where you are and where you need to be daily. We are all on the journey together so let’s be there for each other.

Blessings,

Laurence

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