Habit are traits that are pretty strong to break off. Sometimes, we act in a certain way subconsciously. There are many vices or actions that are taking grip of Christians all over the world that are constitutes both wrong and sin. These have in turn become traits or habits associated with its victims. For example, someone once said, there’s no male youth that did not undergo masturbation. This act is now like a welcome habit in the world of today. Some parents wave it off with statements like…it’s a phase, he’ll get over it. These actions have taken grip of so many Christians and completely destroyed their lifes, for some, it has frustrated all kinds of relationship they enter into. Once, these vices become habits to you, it can be quite hard to break from. Some of these vices include smoking, drinking, masturbation, petty stealing and others.
Acknowledge and decide: this is basically the first step to dealing with any issue you want out of the way; acknowledging that it exists. Many smokers don’t see it smoking as wrong, such a person can clearly not break free from smoking till he/she acknowledges that it’s a vice to break free from. After acknowledging that you have a problem, take a decision to stop or make a step towards stopping. Where there is no determination or decision to stop, efforts may keep failing till there is a strong decision to stop. In case, you are having a hard time acknowledging that what you’re involved in is a vice, ask yourself the following:
· How has it helped me since I started?
· Do I hide it from my parents or friends?
· Can I be bold to do it in public?
· How am I judged for engaging in such action?
· Can I encourage my child or sibling to engage in church?
· Does God frown at it? Has it drawn me closer or farther from God?
· How does indulging in it make me feel?
If your answers are not positive, I need not remind you or convince you that there’s need for a change. If you are having a hard time making a determined decision, just the way we count our blessings, count your losses, count all you have lost in involving in such like your integrity, respect, self-worth, money probably in purchasing items that enhance such acts, your relationship with God if you ever had one, education and a load of others that you can think of. It’ll help you decide especially if you want to start recovering all.
Talk to God: Like I always say, God is our creator whether we choose to believe it or not. He knows our problems before we tell Him of it. A hymn writer wrote: Oh, what needless pains we bear, all because we do not take it to Him in prayer. Probably, when you started, you kept telling yourself that you won’t keep up. That’s how the devil works our minds. Then, before you knew it, you became so addicted, it became a habit you can’t get yourself to break from. Now you have realized yourself and need a clean start. Talk to God, ask for forgiveness of your actions, pour out your heart and reconcile with your maker. That’s a very necessary and strengthening step.
Do your Part: this is a step neglected by many in life. Yes, you have told God of your intention to change, He will definitely help but you have your own role to play, He can only help you. For e.g, you are a drunkard because of the friends you started keeping and after repenting, you still want to keep such associations and hope for a change, at one point or the other, you are going to return face deep into the drinking or probably, masturbation and after repentance, you still keep your porn videos and magazines. No, that’s a wrong approach, find a match stick and light them up in flames. There’s certainly something you can do about that situation, there are steps you can take or something or someone to let go. Do your own part.
Ask for Help: when something becomes character, habit or trait, it is hard to break free from such alone. Seek help. Seek medical help where necessary. Ask for help from spiritual mentors or your parents if they are the available type; someone who can be there to help you and also join you in praying. If Adam could live and be alone, God would have delayed or not created Eve at all. God’s creation of Eve does not only indicate the need of man to have a companion, it also shows the need for humans not to be alone. The first time I climbed the mountain in my state, I did so with my friend, if I went alone, I wouldn’t have gotten to the top and the view from the top was so beautiful. So many business enterprises started with one man but excelled beyond borders of many countries when more man power was employed.
Most importantly, to have a successful journey of breaking free from sinful vices, it’s absolutely important to involve God. The bible says, cast all your cares and burdens upon me, come unto me all ye that are heavy laden and weary and I will give you rest, (Matt 11 v 28). So, whatever issue or vice you are battling with or struggling with, you are so tired of and want to be free, whatever you do, involve God for a successful Journey.
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