I know I have a weakness in my spiritual life that I have prayed about and asked forgiveness for, but I continue this bad habit.
So how do I stop myself?
I talk when I know I should find another way to deal with the situation. I know that Jesus forgave me for my sins on the cross, but it is so hard for me to understand how to stop, and how to forgive myself when I don’t.
I hear you. You want change, and yet you feel stuck.
Change can be costly, so when you are at a place where there is no change and you hate that sin, it’s time to ask ourselves these questions:
1. What will it cost me to receive something new?
2. What feelings do I battle as I consider letting go of the old to reach toward newness?
3. Am I willing to pay the price?
For example, perhaps I want something new in my faith life and I feel God drawing me to daily prayer.
What will that cost me?
Time. Being with God when I may not feel it. Fear that I’ll be in His presence and somehow miss it. Getting out of bed, or turning off the computer and being alone with God.
You want something new in the way you talk to people.
What will that cost?
It might be not speaking when you really want to. It might be missing out on a opportunity to prove that you are right and they are wrong. It might be frustration.
Begin to look — not at the price — but at the process.
What is God trying to give you? What is He trying to do inside of you? How is He trying to answer a prayer you might not even know how to pray?
Acknowledge the feelings that hit, but give them the proper place in your life.
Do feelings lead you, rule you, take you places you don’t want to go? Give them a name. Call them what they are. This doesn’t mean that feelings are bad, but that they don’t get to dictate to you.
You dictate to them.
Look at the cycle.
If there is a cycle you fall into, do the opposite.
If you lash out, then listen.
If you say unkind things, then recognize the good in someone and start the conversation with that.
If you hurt with your words, begin to look for ways for your words to heal.
Will this be easy? Transformation rarely is. Are you willing to pay the price for change to take place?
Week #5 – The Mended Heart Study
Not too long ago I sat in a church service and a BIG sin was brought up. The more the teacher spoke on it, the more the crowd enthusiastically amen’d.
My heart hurt that morning, for the reality is that we all fall short. There are no big or little sins in Scripture. All those who amen’d were sitting in their own sins, recognized or not.
Jesus offers mercy to a repentant heart. Maybe you’ve fallen short, and sin has hurt your heart. Maybe it’s been a long time ago and you still carry that burden, even though you’re living close to Christ now.
Janet asked a good question today. How do I forgive myself? The reality is that we don’t.
Does that surprise you? I hope you’ll check out this blog post from earlier in the year titled “How do I forgive myself?”. Check it out here.
Q: What habit/sin do you want out of our life?
Q: What price would you have to pay to reach toward newness?
Q: What feelings get in the way? Do they dictate my actions, or do I dictate my feelings?
Q: Read 2 Corinthians 5:17. What does it mean to receive “new” from God?
How does Jesus view your sin? Why should you talk to Him about it? We’ll explore that more tomorrow.