5 Tips for Changing Bad Habits
Bad habits can discourage and frustrate us, but these biblical principles can help you to overcome them.
Bad habits can range from something that annoys another person to something that annoys you about yourself, such as things that may negatively affect your life or even your walk with God. If you have a bad habit that you can’t ever seem to get a handle on (overeating, overindulging in entertainment like television or movies, failing to exercise, reacting out of anger, acting on lustful thoughts, etc.), there is hope. Here are some tips that may help you to change your bad habits.
Seek Help from God
First and foremost, look to Christ who is our refuge and strength and a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). Change is hard and some things we cannot do on our own. We need God’s help. God knows our struggles that we face and he encourages us to come to him for the additional help we need to honor him with our lives. Not to say that drumming your fingers (something that may annoy other people) is a habit that dishonors the Lord, but you can honor him still by seeking him when you need help. Seeking God’s help does not mean he does all of the work for you – but he does help us to make our efforts more effective if he wills for it to be done.
Commit to Change
The first step to true change is the willingness to change. Until you commit yourself to it, you will not begin to break bad habits. If you do not truly want to change, it will not happen. You may stop the habit for a time but it will return.
Replace It With Something Good
Sometimes undesirable habits remain because we do not have anything to redirect our energy toward. When trying to break a bad habit, replace it with a desirable habit.
In Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, we read about two people being stronger than just one. If one person falls alone, there is nobody to help him up. This truth also applies to break habits – after all, we do say that we “fall” into bad habits, don’t we? One of the best ways to break a bad habit is by seeking an accountability partner who can encourage you along the way and help you up if you stumble.
Expect Setbacks and Stay Positive
There is nothing like setting out to accomplish a goal and being blindsided by setbacks. Know that they may come and if they do, stay positive rather than being so discouraged and thinking you have completely failed.
Remember that change does not happen overnight. Many studies have proven that it takes time to break old habits.