Breaking Habits. Jeremiah 13:23 “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.”
Habits are the things we do repeatedly, the patterns that shape our lives, and the actions we take in moments of uncertainty. Habits can be as minor as television programs we consistently watch, or as major as addictions. And they can be hard to break.
A recent study demonstrated how people can become prisoners of their habits. A series of experiments proved that “when people are stressed out and tired, they return to their fundamental routines-whether those are good or bad.”
Participants in the study consistently fell back onto both desirable and undesirable habits such as eating the same foods at the same times. When facing stressful conditions, people consistently reacted the same way, even when they wanted to change.
Researchers found practical ways to help break undesirable habits. They encouraged establishing new habits and changing the environment to remove the “visual trigger” that stimulated habitual behavior. It also can be helpful to “plan ahead,” anticipating problems that might occur and then doing whatever necessary to “disrupt established patterns,” changing the sequence of actions.
Many Believers struggle to overcome undesirable habits. As Jeremiah described, changing the patterns that are ingrained in our lives can be hard to do, and as Jesus described, a “tree is known by its fruit” Matthew 12:33.
But we can call on God when we need to break bad habits, or start good ones. This is done when we commit our challenges and problems to Him, filling our minds with His Word and obeying His principles.
Ask God to help you establish Godly habits in your life. Be filled with the Spirit, draw on His power, and follow His leading. Submit every relationship and activity to Him.
Father, help me recognize any bad habits I have formed. Help me to break free of any bondage. I surrender my life to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.