Friday, January 29, 2010

Changing Habits

  1. Identify the Habit you want to change.
    1. You might need help with this. If so, get help.
  2. Identify the path of the habit.
    1. Identify how you go from not doing the habit to doing the habit.
    2. What is it that starts you on the journey and what are the steps that make up the journey?
    3. How do you stop doing the habit after you’ve begun doing it?
    4. What do you do as a result of having done the habit yet again?
  3. If the habit is sinful, confess it and go on.
  4. If the habit is sinful, repent of the habit.
    1. Repent means to change your mind about the behavior from a sinful idea to a godly idea.
  5. Practically speaking—make a plan for when the temptation to indulge in the habit comes again.
    1. Don’t go to places where you will be tempted to do the habit.
    2. Do go to places where you will be doing something constructive with your time rather than indulging in the habit you want to change.
    3. Do do things that inspire you to new things.
    4. If you are surprised by a temptation, run away. Don’t be embarrassed, run away. Run fast.
  6. Adopt new habits and work to inculcate them in your life.
    1. If the old habit was sin, make the opposite, righteous behavior the new habit.
    2. If the old habit was not sin, give yourself something new to do.
    3. If the old habit still draws you, figure out what it is about the old habit that entices you and study God’s word to see what he thinks about it. Then change your mind and think the way he thinks.
  7. Enlist family and friends to encourage you in your new habit.
  8. Avoid trying to walk the line. Do not put yourself into situations where you are likely to be tempted.
    1. If your old habit was sin, do whatever you need to do to take it by the throat and choke it to death. Your battle is for your soul. Fight like it. It needs to be violent and permanent.
    2. If your old habit involved your whole life, you think about it all the time, your friends and acquaintances are all involved in it, etc. you need to change your whole life. Get a new job, in another city, change churches, change everything you do, all your friends, completely make your life over. Do whatever you need to do to walk with God.
    3. Realize that if your heart hasn’t been changed, none of the changes you make will have any affect. If you move and realize that all your friends are the same as they were in the old place, but with different names, you know your heart hasn’t changed.
  9. Be honest with yourself.
    1. Don’t lie about how serious the habit is.
    2. Don’t lie to yourself about whether the habit is sin or not.
    3. Don’t minimize falling back into sin. Confess it and go back to God.
    4. Remember that life is about living with God and enjoying the ride.
    5. Joy is given by God.
  10. Don’t get discouraged.
    1. You are not alone in the journey.
    2. Jesus knows what you are going through.
    3. Others are also being tempted like you are.
    4. God always gives a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13).

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