We all have them, none of us are immune from them and each one of us must deal with them. Bad habits sneak up and overtake all of us at times. They start innocently but over time they become monsters that dictate what we do and when we do it. Bad habits, if not confronted and changed, will eventually present stumbling blocks in our ability to walk in fellowship with God.
Bad habits run the gamut from silly things we insist are needed for us to be happy to insidious patterns of thinking and living that drive us away from God. Just as good habits enhance our spiritual walk, bad habits tear apart our ability to be spiritually sharp.
A wise person will occasionally look at their life and do a “checkup from the neck up”. A wise person will honestly look at the habits that have developed to see if they are harmless, good or bad. Any bad habits will inevitably carry with them a host of good reasons for being there. Those things we should not be doing always seem to have the most excuses that justify their existence.
Bad habits such as staying up late, sleeping too much or eating bad things appear to be benign but in reality cause great damage to us physically and emotionally. Bad habits such as not listening to others when they talk or quickly judging another person’s behavior lead to break ups of relationships and heartache.
Of course the worst habits are those which by their very doing break our fellowship with God. Those things which we allow in our lives which are contrary to what God has said in His Word are like blows to our knees with a baseball bat. Just when we start walking for God, WHAM, those bad habits cripple us and render us unable to do what we want for God.
Perhaps one of the worst bad habits is lying. What starts with stretching the truth or little white lies escalates into intricate webs of deceit over time. Haven’t we all met people who simply cannot tell the truth even if their lives depended on it? Chronic liars do whatever it takes to advance their personal agenda, cover their personal deficiencies and appear to be someone they are not.
Some of the bad habits all of us must learn to overcome are rationalization, anger, stubbornness and negativity. When comparing the response of Saul when confronted by Samuel in 1 Samuel 15 to that of David when confronted Nathan in 2 Samuel 12, the difference is profound. Whereas Saul never did admit he was wrong, David immediately saw his error and repented.
Bad habits must be replaced with good ones. That is why Paul urges us to “put on the new man” by renewing our minds to the Word of God. I sincerely urge all of us to devote some time to evaluating our habits and confronting those which need to be changed.