I’m not good with breakups. I don’t like endings, but sometimes they’re necessary to move forward – not only with people but also with activities that distract from the abundant life God has created for us. As Pastor Aaron Brockett said in his sermon titled, Breaking Up with Bad Habits, “Sometimes you need to have a breakup in order to have a breakthrough.” But it’s often easier said than done, especially when it comes to bad habits.
Habits, whether good or bad, are comfortable. We know them and we like them – or at least we are not compelled to make changes because it seems overwhelming or just too much work. But in his sermon this weekend, Pastor Aaron provided guidance and three clear steps to help us conquer bad habits that may be holding us back and weighing us down.
The first step in making change happen is identifying the problem and then getting rid of it – “Make It Invisible.” If it’s the pantry filled with late-night treats or high-carb snacks that have helped pack on extra weight, it’s time to alter your shopping list. Bottom line: If it’s not in the house, you won’t eat it. If your bad habit is wasting time on social media, monitor it and set a timer – or delete the distracting app on your phone. I have not only deleted apps but also added new ones that encourage me to spend more time with the Lord – such as the Echo Prayer app. Our phone can be a wonderful tool that can help us grow in our relationship and knowledge of the Lord and also connect us with others, but it can also be a huge distraction as hours may pass when scrolling and posting.
The second step is “Make It Difficult.” We often reach for things that are convenient, so why not make those bad habits more difficult? If the phone is your problem, turn it off, put it in another room, or set some boundaries. While many are starving for connection during this isolating time, we still need parameters. Our will is not enough; it wasn’t for the Apostle Paul either. “I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway." Romans 7:19 (NLT)
Lastly, and most importantly, don’t try to break these bad habits on your own. “Make It Known” to a few close friends who can keep you accountable. We are blessed with a community of faith to walk alongside of us and with a Lord who is fighting for us, so change is possible. And the good news is that endings usher in new beginnings. Once you say goodbye to a bad habit, it opens up space for something new. So, let’s conquer our bad habits together!
What are the one or two bad habits you need to break up with in 2021?
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)