“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1).
The dictionary defines habit as a settled tendency or usual manner of behavior. It is an involuntary act that we do without exercising control. Human beings are creatures of habit. We create our habits, and our habits in turn determine the course of our lives. Great and successful people create good habits which bring them success and good outcomes, while less successful people create habits that bring failures and unfavorable outcomes. Bad habits are disastrous and create addicts, alcoholics, lazy, indulgent, miscreants and the likes. Below are some ways to break the yoke of bad habits:
Be Born again: Being born again is having an encounter with the word of God (1 Peter 1:23) and the Holy Spirit (John 3:6). A genuine encounter with God totally transforms and converts sinners into saints; weak and indulgent people into powerful and decisive individuals. It is a spiritual rebirth that changes the tastes, inclinations and proclivities of the individual. It is God coming to take up residence in a hitherto dead and unregenerate spirit man.
Renew your mind: As the mind goes, so does the man. The mind of man is very powerful. Habits are formed when the brain registers a particular event or action. If the act is repeated and it is pleasurable, it becomes reinforced in the brain. As this act is repeated the brain continues to reinforce it until it becomes a stronghold in the mind. This is essentially how people become addicts. Exposing the mind to large doses of the word of God continuously renews it and shatters negative strongholds in the mind. The word of God converts the soul (Psalm 19:7). God was able to deliver the Israelites from Egypt (Spiritual deliverance) but He couldn’t get them into Canaan, the Promised Land because of their unrenewed and slavery mindset. Mental strongholds, at times, are more difficult to deal with than spiritual strongholds.
Engaging the help of the Holy Spirit: It is by the Holy Spirit that we put to death the desires of the human nature (Romans 8:13). Without the Holy Spirit there cannot be permanent victory. Engaging the Holy Spirit by praying regularly in tongues is a must, if we want to overcome bad habits. The Holy Spirit is fire that destroys the yoke of sin and destructive habits. We also stir up the anointing of the Holy Spirit when we actively engage Him; it is the anointing that destroys yokes and undo burdens in our lives. Bad habits are yokes that are to be destroyed.
Affirm yourself constantly: One of the downsides of bad habits is that it makes us lose confidence in ourselves and taint our self-image. After doing something for a long time the tendency is for us to define ourselves as such. We are not what we do; we are what God, through the scriptures, say we are. A healthy self-image is a sine qua non to breaking bad habits. We will always rise or fall to the image and picture of ourselves that we carry within. It is vital we constantly affirm who we are in Christ regardless of our circumstances. Just like (in Christ Jesus) we aren’t our past, so also, we aren’t what we repeatedly do. As Christians we are God’s righteousness and we carry the seed of righteousness within us. As we affirm ourselves with the scriptures the hold of destructive habits will be broken.
Keep standing: To keep standing is to continuously maintain our victory in Christ. Our opening scripture in Galatians 5:1 lends credence to this. Freedom always comes with a cost. After colonized countries fight and obtain their independence, they have to keep maintaining their independence and seek total independence from their colonizers; otherwise, they will fall back in some bondage again (neo colonization). The Amalekites were a recurring enemy of the Israelites; from the time they came out of Egypt till the time of Haman the Agagite (an Amalekite), they constantly were a thorn in their flesh. There is need to totally exterminate and root out all evil habits in our lives, else they will be detrimental to our eventual success and wellbeing.
Conclusion: Other vital ways to break bad habits are to avoid idleness, to create good habits to replace the bad ones, and to have worthy mentors and accountability partners that you will open your lives to unashamedly.Have a blessed month.