3 Steps to Kicking a Habit

By Jesse Becker

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Samson’s first recorded action in Judges 14 was seeing and desiring to marry a woman in Timnah among the Philistines. In his parents futile protest they asked Samson, “Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines?” (emphasis mine)

The word “never” jumped out to me as I read this. It seems from that word that Samson’s desire for companionship with people outside his own countrymen was not something new. It must have been a reoccurring issue. For whatever reason, Samson wasn’t attracted to the ladies among his own people. If we allow ourselves to speculate, Samson may not have found them exciting or a challenge, or perhaps he simply wanted to rebel against his parents and God. At any rate, we can be sure that this was not the first Philistine girl he desired, nor would it be his last. Samson apparently had a habitual attraction for the forbidden.

We all struggle with sins of habit—those things we know are wrong, but over which we never get lasting victory. What are the things in your life that you habitually do or think or say that are against God’s will? Are there harmful attitudes that you harbor? Do you have the same reaction to certain situations?

Chances are that you have dealt with these sins before. We know we are to confess and forsake and ask God for help. But many times these sins find their way back into our lives. After identifying and confessing a sin, there are some practical things we can do to beat them.

  1. Identify the trigger that usually occurs right before you give in. Once you know what triggers that attitude, that sharp tongue, or that wrong act, then you can get one step ahead of it. Make that trigger your cue to pray for help, recite a verse, or take another action. Along with identifying the trigger, try to avoid it if at all possible.
  2. Replace your habit with something good. Once that trigger occurs, you must already have another action, thought, or reaction ready to use in place of the bad one. This will take forethought and practice. Write down your trigger and your best response.
  3. Don’t give up on yourself. As with practicing anything, nothing is perfect the first time or stays perfect. But as a wise preacher once said, “Stick and stay, and make it pay.” We are all growing in certain areas of life. Give yourself grace and time to get better at defeating your habit.

God wants us to have victory. We must believe this and remind ourselves of this, then put a plan into action to kick that habit.

Wiser than the Wisest: A Lesson on Preparation.

By Angel Meléndez

concept work, team of ants

There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer. – Proverbs 30:24-25

Wow! What lessons Agur learned from four small creatures, which, despite having certain weaknesses, had more wisdom to teach than many wise men. The first creatures that were carefully observed by Agur were the small ants. What Agur observed was that the ants did not have much strength within themselves.  Probably never would see them fight a bear or a lion, but their wisdom was not located in their strength. The wisdom of the ants lied in their preparation.  They prepared themselves in the summer for the winter.

What a great lesson for us! The victory does not depend upon our strength; the victory depends upon our preparation. The biggest question is: what are you preparing for in your life? Everything you do, voluntarily or involuntarily, is preparing for something – either to have victory in every area of your life, or a defeat. It is not necessary to be the strongest or the smartest, simply, you need to be prepared for victory.