Proverbs 28:13 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
Romans 7:15-20 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
Romans 12:1-2 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
1 Corinthians 3:16 -17 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
2 Corinthians 6:16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people…”
Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
Ephesians 4:22-24 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Colossians 3:5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
We all have different habits. I used to smoke often—too much. I also liked to bake and frequently made brownies and cookies and then would hide some so there was more for me to eat. There are many unfortunate habits we can develop and need to take the time and mind set to change them. Only a small list of habits such as overeating, anxiety eating, smoking, getting into the habit of having a drink or two each night, swearing, gossiping, and such. (LOOK up other haibts)
When it comes to realizing a habit is wrong, one chooses to decide to change it or continue in the habit. We might make an argument with selfish thoughts and remarks to justify keeping the habit. I had several selfish, self-centered and “justifiable” reasons to continue smoking. This was an unhealthy, foul smelling, expensive habit which did not just affect me, but also could have damaged others close to me with the secondhand smoke. My first thought on rising each morning, was to grab the cigarettes on the way to the bathroom, hitting the start button on the coffee machine, and then lighting up and inhaling deeply on that first cigarette. But throughout the day there were many others I smoked. During the smoking years, these “gods” helped calm stressful moments, decreased anxiety, were helpful to chat and share times and it was a shared habit with many of my friends. Frequently, I was ‘unaware’ of how many cigarettes I had smoked, until I realized my pack was close to being empty. When those times happened, I could become nervous unless I had an unopened pack of cigarettes. If not, I would wonder how to go about getting to a store to purchase more.
I smoked for many years. When I finally made the decision to quit, I was scared. It had been a way of soothing anxiety, dealing with stress, being with friends and socializing. I was so attached to those “gods” that I had some fear of failing any attempt to quitting and not having a ‘safety net.’
I counted minutes, finally hours, and I didn’t count days until I had more than 236 hours of not smoking. I continued counting with hours and days, enjoying the high number of hours, and the fact I had over a week of success. It was still a struggle, and I developed several coping skills to decrease the desire for a cigarette. What I used most often was miming smoking again; I would hold my fingers together and pretend inhaling, then take the “smoke” deeper into my lungs, holding for a couple seconds, then slowly blowing it out.
It took almost six weeks to not have to mime smoking to decrease the desire. I am sure, although no one said this to me, that I must have been a stressed out and screeching witch going through this and those close to me probably wondered how long the crazies would last. Prayers were even more important going through the withdrawal process than the miming of smoking and deep breathing to get me through.
Once through the initial process, I thought I would NEVER crave another cigarette. And for the most part, that was what happened. I didn’t like the smell of smoke when stopping at a red light and would raise my window, but when stressed and then smelled a cigarette, would want to light up and smoke again. Those times were struggles to not give in and ask for a cigarette. It took work to fight the urge and that was humbling. I thought I had the habit under control, but with a bit of stress and the whiff of a burning cigarette, I was struggling mightily to fight the urge to ask anyone for a cigarette or at least a drag.
The strength, in part, came from realizing my successful hours for not smoking was almost 4400, and the days counted 183 days. Did I really want to fail after this many days of work and then success? Wouldn’t it be a bigger sense of failure if I took a cigarette now? It took a lot of pep talking and prayer but I walked away.
There was a jumble of emotions that night. I was humbled that I almost caved—easily and rapidly. My pride at the success was shaken because failure was all too real a possibility, yet I also felt proud as I did walk away. And lastly, I was home and away from the temptation—but I could still see the possibility of failure looming. It left me nervous, knowing I was susceptible to failure, and now the likelihood of it happening was so much more real. There was no pride left. Yes, I had succeeded in walking away from this temptation, but now I knew I was weak, and very possibly I could fail in the future.
Lord, thank You for setting me free from the addiction of smoking and the damage to my body. Thank You for always helping me and ‘mybellaviews.’
Good habits come from resisting temptation
Habits, if not resisted, soon become a necessity both of these are from Marquee Messages. Sentence Sermons for the Church Signs. Shirley Jones Garmon 1995, Thomas Nelson Publishing. Pathway Press, Cleveland, TN 37311