We left off yesterday talking about replacing bad habits with new healthier ones. Pastor Warren shared with us in his book that “we identify with our unhealthy habits. Anytime you hear someone say “I’m always late” or “I’m a worrier” or “I can never resist a dessert” that person is identifying himself or herself with a bad habit.” He goes on to say that we are not the sum of our habits because they are the things we do, not who we are. Habits can be changed, but change is hard.
One day a traveling salesman stopped at an old farm house as he was heading up to the porch he saw an old dog laying across the roof of his dog house. The funny thing was that the dog was crying and whining the whole time the farmer and the salesman where talking. This made the salesman very curious, so at the end of their conversation, the salesman had to ask, "why is your dog whining?" "Oh that old dog house has a lot of nails coming up through the roof and I guess they are pushing up into his belly." The salesman then asked, "well why doesn’t he just get off?" At that the farmer scratched his head and said "I recon it just don’t hurt that much." Like the old dog we get pretty attached to our ways and think change might be harder than staying right where we are.
We are addicted to the taste of junk food, we enjoy the ease of prepared meals, and lazy days on the couch; and I am right there. I had gotten into the habit of stopping on my way to pick up my kids at school at the McDonalds for a drink, I would tell myself that I didn’t need a coke, and on the days that I didn’t stop, I would spend the time wishing that I had. If you and I want to change our habits we first have to decide that the nails are in fact getting to sharp to stay on. The best news is that God offers us His power to make healthy choices, in Philippians 2:13 it says “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him” what pleases God is taking care of the body He gave you.
To change the bad habits we need to change the channel on our thinking, the secret of victory over any temptation is simply to refocus your attention on something else. In my case I am going to get a new cup and take water with a fruit splash in it with me to get kids from school. I am going to make this my new habit and by doing this I will have something to look forward to. What old ways of thinking do you need to change? What new choice can you make to replace an unhealthy habit?
As we begin to follow the Daniel Plan, we will see how God has a part and we have a part in our physical health and spiritual maturity. You won’t be doing this on your own; we all have tried it alone before and have failed to make any lasting changes. Philippians 4:13 reminds us “I can do all this through Christ Jesus who gives me strength.” The Holy Spirit will help us break free of unhealthy habits and strengthen our resolve to make better choices.
May 24th is only four days away, are you ready to start your journey to a healthier life? Is it time to make some changes? Go ahead and make the commitment to yourself and to God. Ask Him to join you on this trip to better health. Let Him know that without Him you would be stuck in your old habits.
I don’t know about all of you, but I can’t wait!
A Prayer for Today
"Heavenly Father, help us to learn that we are not the sum of our bad habits, but that with Your help we can have victory over any temptation, as we commit our renewed healthy bodies to You in Jesus’ name. Amen."