Breaking a sinful habit can take a lot of faith and work.
The prophet Jeremiah asked a provoking rhetorical question when he wrote in Jeremiah 13:23, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.” He was making the point that evil that is so ingrained in our being that it can seem impossible for change to happen.
But the grace of God offers us the ability to be saved, changed, and free of sinful habits. Take verses like Titus 2:11, which promises, “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.”
A helpful exercise I’ve used with counselees is something I call the “52-Day Reboot.” I learned this from Michael Cusick, who has been helping men fight pornography addictions for years. This exercise, coupled with Scripture reading, theological reading, and consistent accountability, can be an excellent tool for change.
I will hand my counselee a simple pack of cards I bought at the dollar store. I then give them this handout below and explain the prayer and renewed thinking (Romans 12:2) each day. Depending on which card they turnover, they follow the set of questions — prayerfully answering them. They chose, by faith, how they will change their thoughts, motive, and behavior in the following areas.
Flip a card over every day and prayerfully evaluate your life in this way, based on which suit of the card you flip over:
- Heart – How is my heart? What am I feeling?
- Spade – What is the work that I have before me today?
- Club – What am I beating myself up for?
- Diamond – Where is the light of Christ in my life?
Here are three other books I would recommend for use with habits and addictions: