Bad Habits Really Do Die Hard

Usually by the end of December of each year, many of us have been known to come up with resolutions. Why? I think it’s because we see each new year as a chance to start over with a clean slate. To begin something that we may have been struggling with all year, and perhaps most of our lives; the New Year is a great time for a reset.

I approached this new year as I have in years past, to set myself up to be more physically fit. Now while, I have been pretty committed to my workout routine of walking five miles a day, five days a week, and monitoring my intake, the monitoring has not been so great. I usually give myself a pass for the holidays, but if I keep doing it this way, when and how will I get the change?

Tuesday was my first time to walk my five miler, partially because of weather, but mostly because I gave myself a holiday pass. While on my walk I thought about the new year and making the resolve again to start eating better. I had actually made this decision some time ago, when I looked into the Mediterranean diet. I had bought two different Mediterranean cookbooks, but here I am. I still am not eating any different. I may have used one of the cookbooks once.

So while on my walk, I asked God to help me, to give me a new mindset. I recognized that resolutions do not work for me, what I needed was a radical overthrow of how I do things, how I think. I need a revolution, because my bad habits have a hard time of dying. Yes, I need a revolution!

This brought to mind God’s word. There are so many scriptures that speak directly to my struggle, not only for helping me towards making healthier choices, but my walk in him to be worthy of his call on my life. Here are some that comes to mind:

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

Galatians 2:16-17 ESV

The Apostle Paul nailed it! I keep failing to keep of my resolutions primarily because I keep caving to my flesh. My bad habits are against my desire to making healthier choices. I cannot do both. Jesus puts it another way as he speaks to Peter in Matthew 26:41: “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Yes, our desire to do better is not enough because our flesh is weak! We need the power of the Spirit for a new mindset because we can do nothing without the power of the Holy Spirit, but that does not eliminate our responsibility. God expects something from us.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Philippians 2:12-13 ESV

The Apostle Paul was exhorting the Philippian believers to work out their salvation with fear and trembling because it is God who has given them and us the ability to work it out because he is working in us! We are empowered by God, and it is for his glory.

What are we working out? Bad habits, the way we used to do things. The Apostle Paul tells us how in his letter to the Colossians. It is a rather long passage, but it is good for us.

Put to death what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Colossians 3:5-10 ESV

The Apostle gives us what we must do, put our sin, our bad habits to death. English theologian, John Owen said “Be killing sin or it will be killing you.” Sadly, it is not a one and done, it is an ongoing battle. It is saying “NO” to the temptations of our flesh, but that only comes with a new mindset. That’s why we must ask God to incline our hearts and minds to his way. For those of us who are believers in Christ Jesus, a revolution has already taken place because we have been made new creatures.

Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Now, as I pray to God for this new mindset, and saturate myself in his word, I know that he has empowered me by the Spirit to do what it is I am challenged to do. I recognize that this will be an active day by day decision on my part. I must starve to death my bad habits by replacing them with good habits. I pray that by year’s end, the revolutionary mindset to kill my bad habits is set.

Have a Blessed New Year!

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