5 Ways for Christians to Fight Bad Habits

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Believers can face roadblocks in their spiritual growth but the Word of God can help us face these bad habits and overcome them.

Roadblocks

For believers, bad habits become a roadblock for their spiritual growth. Some Christians will blame others, their circumstances, parents or teachers for developing bad habits. However, bad habits don’t have to dominate our life. Here are some ways for Christians to fight bad habits.

Self-control

One of the best attributes of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior is self-control. He teaches it and lives it and is our role model. We are to follow Him during times of temptation. Self-control is also one of the spiritual fruits of the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul wrote, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Gal 5:22-23).

The last spiritual fruit out of those nine fruits of the Holy Spirit listed in Galatians 5 is self-control, but even King Solomon said in Proverbs that if somebody is unable to control himself or herself, then they are like a destroyed city; a fort without walls! Scripture says they will be “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control” (Prov 25:28).

I would have a hard time calling somebody a true Christian if they have little or no self-control in their lives. Self-control can do wonders in the life of believers, but sadly, many Christians underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit and thus do not exercise self-control as they should.

Self-Study

I would not say schools fail in their purpose of developing good habits of learning and self-study. Many schools teach some of this, but self-study is a powerful tool for believers. Many Christians do not read their Bible daily and by doing so, they miss out on its power (Heb 4:12). They fail to overcome setbacks and obstacles because they fail to reflect on Scripture. If we read the Book of Genesis, we see that God visited Adam and Eve before they sinned. He walked with them and had fellowship with them. Scripture says, “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden” (Gen 3:8). Why? They had shame for their sin. If they had believed God, they might have had a better chance of not sinning.

Developing Faith

The purpose of all the teaching in Scripture is to make students of the Word (Christians) develop a habit of self-feeding, or growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord (2 Pet 3:18). When Jesus was in the boat with disciples during a fierce storm, He rebuked them for their “little faith.” Jesus said, “Oh you of little faith? He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm” (Matt 8: 26). The disciple faith was weak. Apparently, it never occurred to them to pray for the storm to stop. They were not learning in a capacity in which the Lord had wanted them to learn. Studying something means learning and applying it into your practical life. Christians must adopt the pattern of self-study and self-development to fight back all the bad habits they face every day.

Good Company

The good connections work like a bronze wall around you. When you are surrounded by good connections, people whose mindset is more intelligent than yours, you will have fewer chances of going into situations where you are unable to control yourself and fall into sin The Apostle Paul warned, “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals” (1 Cor 15:33). Being surrounded by those bad connections destroy good communication and resources. Try to avoid the company of those people whose fellowship can easily draw you toward bad habits.

Choose Friends Carefully

They say you can chose your friends, but not your family, but selecting friends is a very important decision. Even relationship experts can be deceived, however Jesus shared His wisdom by saying a tree will be recognized by its fruits and a man shall be identified with its actions and the words he speaks. Be warry of and stay away from friends whose bad habits are drawing you into an ocean of uncertainty, adding stress, anxiety and depression to your life. Jesus did not spend time with people who wanted power or thought to highly of themselves. Instead, He sought out fishermen, tax collectors and others doing their jobs or trying to support their families. His arrival in Bethlehem was announced to shepherds, not kings, priests, or national leaders.

When you choose your friends, think about the kind of people that Jesus called His friends. They were not perfect, like us. They made mistakes, like us, but they understood the truth Jesus spoke. They understood that only Jesus can lead the way to eternal life, so choose your friends based on whether they will bring you closer to God or farther away from Him. Charles Spurgeon said, “Follow your friends no further than they follow Christ.”

Embrace Your Suffering

Do you call yourself Christian and yet run away from suffering? Do you want to live a comfortable life with nonbelievers or an uncomfortable life with believers? You need to re-think what the Bible said thousands of years ago. Night and Day cannot come together. There must be no fear of suffering among the believers of Jesus Christ and we can’t strive to always avoid it. Paul said you should feel proud of the suffering and things you tolerate for Christ and His Name’s sake. God is asking us to embrace our suffering. Greater meaning of life is hidden under greater suffering. The greater the suffering, the greater the peace will be. Jesus died on cross and received the authority of heaven and earth from the Father. Our bad thoughts are the starting point of bad actions, so kill them with Scriptures before they hurt you and keep you in the same miserable state of mind. Hiding God’s Word in your heart (memorizing Scripture) helps (Psalm 119:9-11).

“The LORD is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

Misery and Company

The saying “Misery loves company” basically means that people want others to feel what they feel when they are hurting. They need others to be with them in their pain. When Jesus was suffering on the cross, He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). When you are hurting, remember that Jesus suffered for our sins and He knows our pain. His suffering was worse than anything we could ever feel. You should feel blessed when you are suffering because it draws you closer to understanding what Jesus felt on the cross. God declares, “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). Do not complain about your suffering. Do not invite others to be miserable. Be grateful that God is showing you the truth about suffering. Be grateful for the suffering because God has a plan, and He will let you know what your suffering has to do with His plan. But it will be His time.

Author Bio: Zeeva Usman is a content writer at When You Need God. She is leading the remote working training program at humanrightwarrior.org and content marketing specialist at Second Adam Church and Ministries. When not working she loves to play with her two dogs, Palm and Oreo.

Here is some related reading for you: 5 Ways to Start Breaking Bad Habits Today

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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