• Gladys Olivia Murray

Bad Habits


I never knew that I needed God until I had a habit that I couldn’t break.

Now, before you go off in the deep end trying to think of what my habit was, I want you to think about yours.

It’s not always a drug habit or a sex habit, but at some point in our lives, we have all had a habit. And that gossiping habit, jealousy habit, judging habit, grudge holding habit, drinking habit, porn-watching habit, masturbating habit, everything but sex with your bf/gf habit, cussing folks out habit, and cheating habit (including but not limited to people, taxes, and food stamp applications) is still in the same “sin habit” category as the junkies and prostitutes who are somehow in desperate need of the Jesus that you already have.

A habit is defined as “a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition.”

It was Aristotle who said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Therefore, excellence is not an act, but a habit.” If our habits are what make us who we are, who are you? Right now I’m sure you’re thinking, “Having a bad habit doesn’t make you a bad person”. I agree. But riddle me this, if you meet a man or woman who has a habit of lying. And they lie to you over and over again. At some point you’re going to conclude that someone who lies = a liar. Because we are what we repeatedly do. And while “liar” may not be your title, we have all held one; even those of us who don’t dare to talk about it.

What do you repeatedly do? Some of you may not even be aware of how routine certain actions and ways of thinking have become in your life. Another meaning for the word habit is “norm”. If talking about people and sending screenshots all day in your bestie group chat is your norm, you probably don’t even realize you have a habit of talking about people. Moreover, these behaviors are even more normalized when everyone around you seems to do the same thing. If all of your peers get high to relieve stress, you probably won’t think getting high to de-stress is a bad habit. After all, it’s normal because everybody does it. Before we know it, we adapt to behaviors that either bring us pleasure or appeal to our flesh. And what is repeated becomes habitual, what’s habitual becomes normal, what’s normal becomes comfortable, and what’s comfortable becomes addictive.

At some point, we subconsciously become reliant on our habits to deliver the temporary sentiment we would like to feel. We rely on identifying others’ flaws to devoid us of our own insecurities; we want to feel confident. We rely on getting high and drunk to escape from reality; we want to feel peace. We rely on harboring bitterness and resentment to emotionally chastise those who’ve wronged us; we want justice. We rely on being entertained by every man or woman that looks our way; we want to feel wanted.

Some of y’all are addicts and you don’t even know it. And whatever your habit is, you naively believe that you could just stop at any moment if you wanted to. And you think you have the will power to wrestle with your own demons, and win.

I never knew I needed God, until I had a habit that I, alone, could not break.

Like you, I thought I could just stop any time I wanted to. And I lasted a whole 5 months without returning to the habit at all. And then one day, when I couldn’t even see it coming, there it was. How did I end up right back where I was???

How foolish was I to think that I could deliver my own self? That all I had to do was decide to stop, and all I needed to survive was a made-up mind. How is it that I thought I could win a spiritual battle, without the assistance of the Holy Spirit, himself?

So many of us fail to realize that the depth of our bad habits penetrates to a spiritual realm. A battle in the flesh = a battle in the spirit. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12.

There are spirits attached to our habits, and you will not overcome your struggle by abstinence alone. You need Jesus.

I never knew I needed God, until I had a habit that I just. could. not. break. I always knew I had God, but I still didn’t realize just how powerless I was without the blood of Jesus. Every time I tried to stop in my own strength, I failed. Sometimes it was 5 days and sometimes it was 5 months, yet I still failed. There is only one person who can effectuate change of heart, and that person is not you. And you have to change your heart before you can change your mind, and you have to change your mind before you can change your life.

The truth is, we all have a sin habit. Yours may not be mine, and mine may not be yours, but we both understand that vulnerability to sin was simply a part of the deal and no one is exempt. I was convicted in my sin habit. And I was so torn between the desire to be good and the desire to feel good, that my flesh tried to reason with my spirit. And I tried to believe that lack of explicit biblical teaching against my habit was the loophole that excused my behavior (you know those grey areas, where we like to justify sin). And I was comfortable with the ambiguity of the scripture, because it didn’t spotlight the action of my flesh.

But when God starts tugging at you, He’ll allow you to see your ways as He sees them. And once you see a behavior for the sin that it really is, you will never be able to live comfortably in it again. So today, I pray that God reveals to you your habits. Not to your family and not to your friends—to YOU. It’s not about being exposed or embarrassed or condemned; it’s about being saved.

The first step on the road to recovery is admitting you have a problem. God wants to free you, but you have to let Him. Don’t be desensitized to Satan’s subtle tactics. This is not the time to be in denial about what you got going on. A one-time thing becomes a two-time thing becomes a three-time thing becomes a habit. We cannot afford to let sin be engrained in our routine.

Until you confront the habit, it’s not going to go away, and the more you feed it, the tighter its grasp is going to be. Therefore…let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us (Romans 12:1). If you’ve ever tried to run with luggage in the airport, you know how restricting it can be. It bogs us down and delays our arrival to whatever checkpoint or gate we’re heading to. Well our sin habits become spiritual baggage. And when we attempt to carry them with us on the journey to destiny, it only delays our arrival to the place God has called us to be. I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received (Ephesians 4:1). Stop delaying your calling by entertaining your flesh.

God can help you. You are not counted out, and you are not in too deep to be lifted up. Redemption is what this entire faith is about. Do not let shame keep you from owning your struggle. You are not an anomaly. You are not alone. God is not ashamed of you. You are not any less of a Christian.

"Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners." - Mark 2:17

Look up and,

Liv


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 GLADYSOLIVIA