Your deepest longing is to have intimacy with God through a loving personal relationship with Him.
God created each of us with this desire to seek Him because He knows that anything else will ultimately fail us! Uncontrolled habits often represent our own attempt to meet the God-given emotional needs for love, for significance and for security through unhealthy dependencies on people, things or activities.
- Are you seeking to meet your inner need for unconditional love through any sensual pleasure?
- Are you seeking to meet you inner need for significance through achievements?
- Are you seeking to meet your inner need for security through another person, act or thing?
Unfortunately, many of our own efforts to meet these inner needs have little or no resemblance to the provisions and promises of God! Jer. 29:13-14 Destructive habits create an unhealthy emotional climate and have the potential of damaging you and/or others.Habits can be beneficial and profitable.2 Kings 17:13
Habits can be evil or destructive.2 Kings 21:21
Habits can be passed down from generation to generation.2 Chron 17:6
Good habits reflect God’s character.Job 17:9
Good habits strengthen character.Job 22:28
Good habits are a choice.In the New Testament, the Greek word manthano means “to learn” (in any way) or to “get into the habit.Titus 3:14
Habits are learned behavior.1 Tim 5:13
One bad habit can lead to other bad habits.The Greek word hodos, which means a “natural path or way,” is used metaphorically in Scripture to mean “a course of conduct or way of thinking. Heb 3:10
Hearts are led astray by ungodly habits.2 Peter 2:2
A Christian is equipped to overcome bad habits.Heb 13:7
A Christian’s good habits are a witness to others.Matt 5:16
Harvesting Good Habits Hos 10:12 Many habits are the result of our childhood experiences. You can choose to plant, cultivate and harvest good habits that are desirable and pleasing to God.1 Cor 13:11
Sow the Seeds of Moral SensitivityStudy the Scriptures daily so that you can know God’s standards.Write out the Ten Commandments and apply each one to your life (Ex 20:1-17).Consider what it means to “have no other gods before me.” Memorize the Beatitudes and rehearse them in your mind (Matt 5:3-11).Measure all your behavior with the Scriptural yardstick.Ps 119:11
Sow the Seeds of Accountability Be open to the truth when others criticize you.Say with appreciation, “It takes courage to point out where a person needs to change. . . . Thank you for taking the risk.”Think about your negative attitudes and each day review their consequences.Confess your failures to God and others, and ask forgiveness from those you have offended.Daily or weekly talk with a friend who will help you “kick the habit.”Prov 28:13
Sow the Seeds of GratefulnessMemorize Ps 100 and meditate on its message.Acknowledge the gifts of God for which you can be grateful.Keep a prayer journal, and give thanks for answered prayer.Always express gratitude to those who are helpful to you.Thank God for what He is teaching you through each trial and people1 Thess 5:16-18
Sow the Seeds of Forgiveness Know that forgiving others is required to have the forgiveness of God.Choose to forgive others even when you feel justified in your anger.Remind yourself of the many times God forgives you.Read the story of Joseph for insights into the heart of forgiveness. (Genesis chapters 37-50. The key verse is Gen 50:20.)Matt 6:14-15
Sow the Seeds of SelflessnessSet a high standard for yourself, and expect less from others.Ask God to shine a spotlight on your acts of selfishness.Avoid talking about yourself or bragging about your endeavors.Resist the urge to criticize or give unasked-for advice.Perform an act of kindness toward someone else each day.Phil 2:3
Sow the Seeds of Communion with GodSeek out time every day to be alone with God.Acknowledge unpreventable noise and remove other distractions.Slowly say in your heart, “Lord, I do love You.”Close your mind to invading thoughts, and focus on God’s presence.Be quiet in your spirit, and wait on God to reveal Himself to you.Ps 104:34