Breaking Bad Habits

I USED TO BITE MY FINGERNAILS right down to the quick. I'd rip off those babies just as soon as the first signs of new growth would appear. For well over twenty years I carried around ten ugly stumps that resulted in two miserable experiences: personal embarrassment and physical limitations.

God began to convict me about my nail-biting habit. It took Him, let's see, nearly a decade to bring about a final and complete victory, ashamed as I am to admit it. During the process He gently, yet pointedly, caused me to see that this was an area of my life much deeper than eight fingers and a couple of thumbs. I was literally being enslaved . . . mastered and manipulated by the beast of habit. God revealed this truth to me in His Word:

You say, "I am allowed to do anything"—but not everything is good for you. And even though "I am allowed to do anything," I must not become a slave to anything.

1 CORINTHIANS 6:12

You can't believe the fire of conviction this verse once set ablaze within me. When I first saw this verse, my habit didn't suddenly stop . . . but it was certainly a turning point toward change, thank God.

Bad habits are common to all of us. They're the price we pay for being human. Some wrestle with a habit as accepted and common as overeating or exaggerating or cheating or procrastinating. Others are, by habit, negative and suspicious . . . and the response is being habitually narrow or closed. Sinful habits like gossip, worry, irritability, and profanity are often practiced without guilt by some and justified through cleverly devised mental schemes. The list is endless. But Christ can set you free when you surrender in obedience to Him.

Make a commitment to begin breaking free from whatever sinful habit has you stuck. Be encouraged with every simple step toward freedom you achieve. Realize that you're on the road toward ultimate victory . . . for the first time in years!

Start today. This could be one of the very best moments thus far in your life. Come on!

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at tyndale.com.


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