One thing that is true about life is that it is filled with routines. Many of us do the same things day in and day out and we call it a routine, but it can also be called our habits. We all have good habits that are beneficial to our life, but many of us also have bad habits that hinder our life's progression. What we must realize is that as good as our good habits are, our bad habits are just as bad as well. We must realize that continuing to do the wrong things will eventually take our life down the wrong path instead of keeping it centered and in the perfect will of God.
I've heard from many people who say breaking a bad habit is easier said than done. While that statement may be true, we must remember that every habit is a learned behavior. We didn't just start off with that bad habit, but it took a progression over time where it increased a little bit by a little bit. Just as bad habits are learned behavior, they can also be broken by a new learned behavior. We must replace the habits that are hindering us with new habits that will progress our life on to greater heights, but it must be a conscious, disciplined and willful act to want to change for the better. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13) (Proverbs 10:20-25)
In order for anyone to change, they must first want to change, second be willing to change and third be determined and steadfast to change. Nobody can want it for us, we must want it for ourselves and when we do, great things will begin to take place in our life. Now ask yourself what would you like to change? What bad habit is hindering your life? Whatever it may be, it can be changed. Every learned behavior can be replaced with a better learned behavior. We can become better, we can rise higher, we can reach farther, but we must have the determination to overcome every negative in our life so that there will be room for all of the positives that God wishes to give us. May we be overcomers over every hindrance and stand victorious just as God wishes for each of His children. (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15) (Psalm 16:8-11)
I hope this message inspires and challenges your heart to be determined to overcome every trial and challenge, to overcome every bad habit and replace it with something good and acceptable that will elevate your life.
DRIVING OUT BAD NAILS
A teacher who was lecturing on habits told his class, “Anything you repeat twenty times is yours forever.” From the back of the classroom came a whispered voice, “Sarah, Sarah, Sarah, Sarah….” Of course, what the teacher was trying to say is that any behavior, often repeated, becomes habit.
The Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus once said, “A nail is driven out by another nail. Habit is overcome by habit.” And if I understand him right, he suggests that saying no to a bad habit is not enough. Instead, we should try to replace it with a good one. Repeat the new behavior twenty times…and it is yours.
If any behavior, good or bad, is often repeated, it becomes stronger and more powerful. “Since habits become power, make them work for you and not against you,” said E. Stanley Jones. In other words, drive out the undesirable nail, the behavior you'd like to change, with a better one.
One woman did just that after lamenting to her friend, “I hate being late. It has been a problem for me all of my life.”
“Do you really want to change that habit?” her friend asked. The woman said that she did and her friend responded, “All right. Every time you're late for work or anywhere else, then give me $25.”
“I'd go broke!” she said. “But I'll do $10.”
“It's got to hurt,” said the friend.
“Believe me, that will hurt,” the woman replied. They agreed that the money should be deposited in a jar and used for charity.
In the first week, the habitually tardy woman made a concerted effort to plan ahead and she only paid $10 to her friend. The next week, $20. The third week, none at all. By week five, she had built a strong habit of leaving early, and her new behavior replaced the old pattern of tardiness that had hindered her for so long. She drove out one nail with another one. And she found freedom.
If you're like me, there is a bad nail you want to remove. Today is a good day to pick up a better nail and start using it.
By Steve Goodier
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
1 Peter 5:8-9 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”
James 1:13-17 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Psalm 51:1-3 “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.”
Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.”
All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.
Today’s Selected Prayer: Daily Prayer Confession
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Today’s Selected Testimony: THE LIGHTNING STORM
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In Christ’s Service,
God’s Work Ministry