Stronghold of bad habit
Text: Romans 7:14-25
The word “habit” is derived from the Latin word “habitus,” which means how you are. It actually means your state or condition. Weber dictionary defines habit as an established pattern of behaviour. It is this habit that shapes or forms our character. A bad habit is a besetting Sin. It is a particular sin that keep harassing or that continues to trouble a man. Paul said in Romans 7:14-25, anytime he desired to do something good, he discovered he couldn’t do it, but see himself doing the evil or the things he did not desire. Bad habit is like a stronghold that is difficult to break, when fully established. That is why as a child of God, you must be very careful what forms your habit.
I have a classmate, years back in secondary school that used to walk with his shoulders bent almost to his waist level. Initially, it started as a form of play, but eventually, it became a habit that he could not break away from. Years later, when I saw him at over 50 years, he was still walking that way. My children asked me if he was deformed, and could not believe it when I told them that it all started as a joke, but today it has made him to become deformed.
Luke 22:39 talks about the good habit of Jesus Christ. The word ‘custom’ simply means tradition or what we continue to do. Like we said earlier, habits are things we learn to do through repetition and eventually do either unconsciously or with very little effort. First, we form habits and then they form us. We are what we repeatedly do. Jesus developed the habit or custom of going to the mountain to pray. You will find throughout the scripture that all of the great men and women of God had similar habit. They all knew the crucial importance of spending time with God.
One of the ways we can deal with bad habits is to replace them with new ones. It is amazing how powerful our subconscious mind is. Every time we do something, our sub-conscious mind programmes it into our brain. The more you do it, the more entrenched the programme becomes. So, to overcome bad habit, you need to reprogramme your mind. Repetition is the key to forming habits, either good or bad. So, for you to overcome old bad habits, you need to form new ones and continually repeat them until they overshadow the bad habits. The Bible tells us that darkness is swallowed up in light. (John 1:5). Good has more power than bad. The devil always wants us to form bad habits, but God’s desire for us is to have good habits. So, we need discipline to continue to repeat the new good habits learnt to replace the bad ones. Getting rid of bad involves Learning, re-learning and unlearning.
Breaking the stronghold of bad habits takes a strong commitment, an investment of time, a lot of hard work and a willingness to be uncomfortable, while you are in transit from bad habit to good habit. It is breaking of a stronghold. This stronghold of bad habit is called addiction. Most addictions come as a result of what we listen to, what we read or watch, people we associate with or the environment we found ourselves in. For some, it could be a family trait that is transferred through the bloodline. The destiny of many people today has been truncated or destroyed because of bad habits they cannot let go. For example, Samson had a habit of always going after strange women, and it was that habit that led him to his downfall and eventually death. Judges 16:1: The prophecy of Samson’s birth came in Judges 13:2-5. He was instructed not to touch unclean things and to avoid strong drinks. When Samson grew up, he developed a bad habit of always doing the opposite of his parents’ instructions. He developed over time the habit of drinking and running after strange women. Eventually, he met Delilah, Judges 6:4-30, who brought about his downfall.