“Therefore, since we are surrounded
by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us
also lay aside every weight, and sin which
clings so closely, and let us run with
endurance the race that is set before us…”
Take shame out of your healing. Find, with the Holy Spirit’s help, the underlying issue fueling your bad habit(s). Guilt says, “I did bad, I need to change.” Shame says, “You did bad, so you are bad.” The purpose of guilt is to get us to the point we say, “It’s time for a change.” Shame has no place in your life (Romans 8:1). Stop demonizing your identity with shame every time you have an unhealthy craving. Just recognize them for what they are and move forward.
Second, put it in perspective. Research has proven that only those who truly believe they can beat a habit, do. Lots of people break meth, food, and porn addictions, but multitudes stay entrenched because their habit’s morphed into the impossible foe. Try this: Label your habit as ‘junk-food’ and set a goal of going one day, week, or month without junk-food (not so big and scary ehh?).
Bad habits are weights to the mind, body, and soul. They all have this in common: A trigger, a ritual/routine, and a reward/gratification. We do them to find release and escape. Well…find release and escape, that’s why the golden rule in habit breaking is, “Keep the cue/trigger and reward; change the ritual/routine.” That’s why habits can only be replaced. God made guys hunger for adventure and respect, and gals to be irreplaceably cherished (See the masculine and feminine nature of God?). Make a list of better replacement-routines that feed those needs/desires (Walking, music, biking, praying, etc.). Next time the cue/trigger hits, try the replacement. After fifteen minutes, ask yourself, “Has the urge subsided?” If it hasn’t, strike that one off the list, and try the next.
By Aaron F. Jeffers