How to Remove and Replace Your Old Habits
“Practice these things. Devote your life to them so that everyone can see your progress.” (1 Timothy 4:15, GW)
The moment you give your life to Jesus, he gives you a brand-new nature. But you will still have old habits, patterns, and practices that need to be removed and replaced. It’s a lifelong process, but here are two bits of guidance to help you on the journey.
Let go of the fears that keep you from growing. The truth will set you free, but it often makes you miserable first. The fear of what you might discover if you honestly face your character defects can keep you living in the prison of denial. Only as God is allowed to shine the light of his truth on your faults, failures, and hang-ups can you begin to work on them. This is why you cannot grow without a humble, teachable attitude.
Stop basing your identity around your “defects.” You say, “It’s just like me to be . . .” or “It’s just the way I am.” The unconscious worry is that if you let go of your hurt, hang-up, or habit, you won’t know who you are anymore. This fear can definitely slow your growth.
Remember that your character is the sum total of your habits -- and good habits take time to develop. You can’t claim to have integrity unless it’s your habit to always be honest. A husband who is faithful to his wife most of the time is not faithful at all! Your habits define your character.
Remember: You have to practice every day the habits that will make you more like Christ.
“Devote your life to them so that everyone can see your progress” (1 Timothy 4:15 GW).
Talk It Over
What bad habit have you let define you?
How can you humble yourself and demonstrate that you are ready to face your hang-ups?
What do you need to change about your life -- such as your schedule, who you hang out with, or the thoughts you dwell on -- so that you can work every day to develop better habits?
Are you in need of a new nature?
Your sins separate you from God. And it is only God’s grace that can get you back into right relationship with him -- that can give you a new nature.
The Bible says, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).
If you’re ready to make peace with your Creator, then pray this prayer:
“Dear Jesus, I don’t want my sin to separate me from you any longer. You have promised that if I believe in you, everything I’ve ever done wrong will be forgiven, I will learn the purpose of my life, and you will accept me into your eternal home in heaven one day.
“I confess my sin, and I believe you are my Savior. You have promised that if I confess my sin and trust you, I will be saved. I trust you when you say salvation comes by grace, through faith, and not by anything I do. I receive you into my life as my Lord. Today, I’m turning over every part of my life to your management.
“I want to live the way you created me to live and use the rest of my life to serve you instead of serving myself. I commit my life to you and ask you to save me and accept me into your family. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at Rick@PastorRick.com and let me know about it. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.
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Today’s devotional is adapted from Rick Warren’s book, available at The Purpose Driven Life. This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.