We all want good daily habits. But instead we do things like sleep in, get to work late, get home late, yell at the kids, eat or drink “just one more,” and check our email in bed.
So, how do we start breaking bad habits and start making good habits? Isn’t there just a simple three-step plan that will set me free? Not really. But there is hope, and God’s Word is full of it.
Life.Church pastor, Craig Groeschel, says one of the biggest reasons people fail to keep good habits and break bad ones is because our distorted identity sabotages our success. This brings up the first letter in the HABITS acronym we’ll use as we discover a better way to make and break habits: healthy identity.
Often when we’re ready to start something new or get rid of a bad habit, we make a plan based on what we’ll do. Instead we need to start with goals based on who our God is and who we want to be. Saying, “I’m going to run a marathon,” is based on what you want to do. Saying, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and by God’s strength I want to become a runner,” is based on who God is and who you desire to become. This is an identity-based goal. We need to put who before do.
Identity goals are one aspect of discovering a healthy identity. The next bit of freedom comes with digging into past hurts, lies you’ve believed, unforgiveness, mistakes, and life situations that may have brought you to believe in a version of yourself that may not be who God made you to be. As you discover the lies, you’ll want to replace them with God’s truth from His Word. A healthy identity based on what God says about you is the foundation for breaking bad habits and making good ones.
For example, too many of us have believed a lie like, “I’ll always be this way.” That’s an identity-based fear that needs an identity-based truth like, “The Spirit of God didn’t give me fear. He gave me power, love, and self-control!” What are some of your identity-based lies that you can replace with God’s truth?
Pray: God, what are the habits I need to break? What are some deeper parts of my identity that may be leading to these habits? Holy Spirit, I need Your power to make these changes. Amen!