The problem of overcoming a bad habit

By Dr. John W. Lewis - Religion Writer

Why do I do what I don’t want to do? Why can’t I stop? I know I don’t need it. This is stupid.

Have you ever heard these before? Have you said them yourself? God has an answer for every problem, and He has one for bad habits too. Bad habits are various enslavements like drugs, drinking, smoking, overeating, cursing, immorality, gambling, and whatever is sinful. These habits produce bad health and control us. They account for wasted years, break up of homes, lost opportunities, and sometimes life itself. So why are so many Christians victims?

First of all, the Devil is real. 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” The devil wants you defeated, discouraged, depressed, and dead.

Secondly, we try to escape reality by filling a need that has never been satisfied. Like taking drugs to feel accepted by our peers. Someone may turn to drinking to soothe a hurt or bad experience. Whatever the case, bad habits are easily started hard to stop without God’s help.

A bad habit is a crutch or a sign that something is missing or wrong. Mark it down, something or someone will control you. If we give ourselves to the flesh, the flesh has control. The same is true of our minds, they call it mind over matter or will power. But it’s best to be controlled by the Holy Spirit as we yield ourselves to Him. Our spirit ought to control our mind and our mind our flesh. The flesh should never have control, it can’t be trusted.

The cure for bad habits is good habits. The taking off and putting on is the plan of action we will use to overcome bad habits. For example, watching too much television. To stop watching it all together creates a void that needs to be filled. We replace that void by reading more and playing games. A serious problem like drug addiction needs not only a change in activity but a change in attitude. What causes the use of drugs must be dealt with. Is it rebellion, peer pressure, physical addiction, or a way of life because of environment? The root of the problem must be discovered and dealt with. Then we can start good habits to replace the bad ones.

It has been said that a good habit is formed by doing it for thirty days in a row. A canoe can change directions quickly, but a large ship takes some time to turn around. The longer you have had the habit, the harder it is to break its control over you. Just the same the journey of a thousand miles begins by taking that first step. The secret is taking one step at a time and keeping on stepping. Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Anchor Baptist Church

456 Jamison Rd

Washington Court House, OH

(740) 333-7777

By Dr. John W. Lewis

Religion Writer