(Taken from Happy School Advanced, Week 4, The Urgent Necessity of Stopping Bad Habits. The other lessons can be found under the Happy School Advanced tab on this website.)
Your Enemy prowls around and he is very savvy. He knows just how to take you out of the race that you’ve been called to run. All he needs to do is give you a bad habit that consumes a lot of your time and energy, and that makes you feel bad about yourself.
If I’m tempted in any area of my former bad habits, I read two things: my Best Sane Higher Self proclamation and this fabulous quote: “You have dug your soul out of the dark, you have fought to be here, do not go back to what buried you.”
Whatever you bad habit is—Trash Food, overspending, smoking, alcohol, hoarding, prescription or street drugs—it’s helpful to remember that although your bad habit was an immediate relief, it buried you. It took you to an emotional dungeon. It took your hand and you walked together into a dark place. I don’t want to be in a dark place and you don’t want to be in a dark place. We want to have the freedom of a clear conscience before the Lord and use our gifts to make a difference in the world. So much joy comes from using your gifts (Lesson 5 in Happy School), but if you’re caught in a tangled web and a cycle of bad habits, I can promise you will not experience this lightness, happiness, and clarity.
Sometimes I’ll have dreams that some of my bad habits have come back and I am tempted by them. When I wake up, I’m so glad the dream was not real. My life is certainly not perfect and I have a couple of important things that I stand before the Lord and beg Him for, but currently, there are no bad habits that I’m aware of. In my early 20s, I struggled with eating Trash Food (I weighed almost 50 pounds more than now), smoked three packs of cigarettes a day, was deeply in debt, smoked marijuana, and drank wine every night.
Isn’t it so beautiful how God gives beauty for ashes?! After I got saved at 25 years old, God started the long haul of cleaning me up. At 26, I went to a Christian play and they sang a song called, Beauty for Ashes. Then, David and I had that song sung at our wedding. We both had such huge, transformations in our worldview and lifestyles after we met the Lord. He is a merciful God who loves to help and deliver His children.
It’s easy to get bummed out about all the time and energy I spent on my bad habits in the past. But the way to think about your regrets and your failures (Lesson 6) is that God allowed them for a purpose so that you could later use them somehow as a gift to others. I love 2 Cor. 1:4, which says that God, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. One of my top joys in life is helping other women, and I learned everything while I was in the wilderness.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably struggling with a bad habit that you’d really like to be free of. Remember, why would you ever go back to the substance that buried your soul? Freedom is what you want, not some piddly-dink, soul-robbing, temporary pleasure.
It’s time to leave the wilderness and enter Canaan!
The next blog is entitled, Is Your Bad Habit Genetic? If you’d like to access all 8 blogs now, you can find them under the Happy School Advanced tab at JulieNGordon.com or HERE.
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