How do you get rid of a bad habit? Do you make changes in your life? Do you deal with the desire you have for your addiction, or create a list of “quitting” rules to follow. The plan we set for ourselves looks good on paper, but if we still harbor those desires in our hearts, are we headed for danger?
Can habits be broken?
Believing that we cannot break a habit will keep us stuck, and we will give up trying to quit. Saying “we quit” and following a list of rules sets us up for failure, also. The truth is, the desire for what we are addicted to is still in our hearts, and if we do not act, this desire will become a trigger that trips us to fall right back into the habit.
I don’t know about you, but harboring desire is what kept me in my smoking habit for forty-six years. It did not matter how many ‘plans to quit’ I set for myself. Until I dealt with the desire, I was unable to quit. But what is the best way to get rid of these desires?
“Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence” Colossians 2:23 (NIV).
Behaving a certain way according to the rules was not enough. Failing to control our desires will keep them sitting dormant in our hearts, waiting for that one trigger to bring it out again. I found that only God had the power to control this in me, but I had to hand over the desire to Him.
How to break a bad habit
The steps I took in giving up smoking first started with admitting that I had no desire to quit. The next step was to plan to give it over to the only one who had the power to take the habit from me. I gave it to God, over and over again before I finally left it there. I had to not only give it over to Him, but I had to leave it with Him, also.
There are more steps to giving our habit to God than just following the rules. There also needs to be a willingness of heart to give up the desire to Him. Proper knowledge of who God is will give us true love in our hearts for Him and a genuine desire to obey Him because of who He is.
Learning how to love and trust God is the only way that I have found to break a habit for good.