Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Why Can't I Get This Right?!: How To Break Free From Your Past

I think I have found the least likely verse in the entire Bible to be put on a t-shirt:

                “Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.”
                                                -Proverbs 26:11

Go ahead and cross-stitch that on a pillow for the living room. I guarantee it will be a conversation starter!

It’s true though isn’t it? It’s so easy to repeat the unhealthy things we do and it always leads to the same predictable disappointment. We’ve all had those moments when we stop and realize that we are struggling with the same bad decisions, addictions, or fears that we were struggling with 10 years ago, and the thought makes us shudder. So how do we break the cycle and escape the bad decisions that are impacting our lives each day? Here’s a few things to consider:

Be Honest With Yourself

It’s much easier to keep life on cruise control and keep motoring along, than it is to stop and have an honest look at ourselves. Your ability to be honest with yourself hinges on your ability to trust that God’s love for you is bigger than your bad decisions. God doesn’t stop loving you when you sin. God hates the sin that is wrecking your life, but He loves you completely and unconditionally.

Be Honest With Someone Else

Getting your struggle out in the open is a big step on the path to dealing with it. It’s easy to ignore our mess when life gets better or busy, especially if no one knows about it but us. Admitting my struggles to someone else helps me see how real they are.  Don’t tell just anyone! Choose someone who loves you and who won’t judge you. Share what you are wrestling with, but don’t make excuses or explain it away. Be honest and be clear and if possible, ask for help.

Form a New Habit

Old habits don’t just go away. If a new habit isn’t formed in it’s place, old habits are nearly impossible to escape. As you think and talk through what you are struggling with, examine when it happens the most, and what triggers may bring it to the surface.  Choose a routine, activity, or thought process that you can engage in when those moments hit. Be patient, it takes 63 days for a habit to be deeply entrenched. You won’t be perfect, but you must be relentless. It will be worth all of the work!

We all fail, but failure doesn’t have to define us. As you work on your new habits, talk to God often. You are not in this alone, and He isn’t waiting for you to get your life straight to have a relationship with you. He wants the relationship He has with you to be what gives you strength as you grow.  

Photo Courtesy of Death To The Stock Photo

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