“Bad Habits are Hard to Break”
BIBLE READING: Nehemiah 11-13; Psalm 126
Why is it so hard to break bad habits? We understand that these habits are bad for us, yet we continue to do them. Is it because of negative peer pressure that we continue to fail? Maybe it is just ingrained in our DNA to keep falling into its trap? Maybe it is simple selfishness? Isn’t that more of a reasonable answer? We might continually look for excuses that have nothing to do with personal responsibility, yet none of them hold any weight. As we go back to the book of Nehemiah, Nehemiah has left Jerusalem after the completion of the wall to go back to work for King Artaxerxes. While there the people of Jerusalem fall right back into the same bad habit that got them into the captivity in the first place. They stopped honoring the Sabbath day by doing business, the priesthood had again become stuck in corruption and some of the men had found wives and bore children from among the pagan nations. Nehemiah must go back to Jerusalem and re-educate all the people on why they went to captivity and why the city was destroyed in the first place. They could have blamed their situation, or the genetic makeup (if they had known what that was), but it was all about selfishness. Self seems to have been and continues to be the root of the problem of sin doesn’t it? Maybe that is why Christ was so adamant to His followers about emptying ourselves of self, and filling up with Him. Dying to self yet living because of His Spirit that lives within us. Taking up our cross and following Him. Bad habits are just that, habits that are bad. Yet those bad habits are made to be broken; for us to do so we must be honest with ourselves as to why we continue to do them. After we take responsibility for our actions, we can then begin the process of becoming that “living sacrifice” of Romans 12. Then we can begin to “transform” ourselves by the renewing of our mind. If we fix the root of the problem, we then can make those bad habits a thing of the past.