Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Changing Bad Habits

I have started a new feature that is helping me focus on areas in my life that need change. This month I am working on controlling my tongue. If you'd like to join me, click here to find out more. Here are some things that I keep in mind when I am working on changing a bad habit or even trying to be transformed from the inside out.

1. Pray each day. You know what your triggers are. Ask God to make you aware of them, and to make your sin detestable to you. Along with this, because you will be heightening your awareness of the area you are targeting, ask for forgiveness, both from God, and from the people that you wrong. I know that I yell less now than I used to. However, the effects are more bracing to me now. As God moves you to that place of discomfort over a particular sin, seize the opportunity to let Him change you. Do not be mired in your sin or in your guilt over your sin (Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, Romans 8:1).

2. Find scriptures that address the area that you want to change. Sometimes I go looking for the scriptures when I am working on a certain change, but often the scriptures find me and point out that sin that I need to forsake. Reading Proverbs is often like a hammer over the head regarding areas that need change. Can you read this verse from Proverbs 21:9 and not respond by trying to be sweeter and more agreeable? "Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife." Additionally, you can read books addressing the area in which you are struggling which might help give you pointers or inspire you to keep working towards conquering that habit.

3. Get accountability. Tell those around you that you are trying to change. If my husband knows that I am dieting, I think twice before eating a huge bowl of ice cream in front of him. When I am having a particularly bad day or week with my kids, I can confess my sin to my daughter, and ask for her to lovingly point out to me when I am harsh or angry with her. This may seem tough, or as if it would encourage disrespect, but it usually doesn't. I have to make sure that I have a teachable and humble heart (by practicing number one and number two) so that I don't lash out when she rightly points out my sin.

Head over to Rocks in My Dryer to find more tips to make your life easier or better:


Katrina said...

Excellent advice. #1 is so critical for me, because it is way too easy for me to justify my sin and bad habits and to not see them for what they are. I pray often that God would help me see them as He sees them and to make me so uncomfortable about them that I truly want to change.

lrlwreath said...

The finding scripture is what has really worked for me. A person can not "think on these things" and then be yelling or using my tounge for bad while "thinking on these things" at the same time.

Barbara H. said...

Good thoughts. An excellent book on this is "How to Say No to a Stubborn Habit" by Erwin Lutzer -- both helpful and convictin.

Kathleen Marie said...

These are excellent tips and reminders. Sometimes when I look back I don't even recognize the person I use to be, which is wonderful but at the same time I do have a long way to go. Have a blessed day!

Larae said...

I'm bookmarking these and using them as well! Thanks for sharing =)

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of praying that my sin will be detetable to me, I will use this immediately!!

master of none said...

What a great idea! It's near the end of September and I just found your site, but want to do it.
My tongue gets me in trouble when I'm trying to "help" someone. When a verse is being memorized (in any area) it seems God helps my words to come out kinder. I need to continue to memorize His Word....daily.
Thanks for this wonderful idea!