If you were to make a list of your bad habits, it might read like this:
I snack between meals; I bite my nails; I drop my dirty clothes in the floor; I watch too much TV; I love to gossip about others; I pick my nose in front of people; I eat with my mouth open.
Your list of good habits might include: I brush my teeth twice a day; I make my bed; I say thank you when others do things for me; I read my Bible every day; I wash my hands after using the bathroom. I address adults courteously.
Habits are important because they make up a part of who you are. You can be messy or you can be neat depending on your habits. You can be clean or you can be dirty depending on your habits. You can get along with other people, or not, depending on your habits. Let’s read what the Bible has to say about habits.
Why are habits important? Everything you do is important and makes an impact on your life in some way. It’s in the Bible, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31, NKJV).
Does God expect me to form good habits? Yes! It’s in the Bible, “…encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good….show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us” (Titus 2:6-8, NIV). It’s easy to lose our temper and lash out at other people, but God makes it clear that He wants us to behave differently because we represent Him to other people.
Are bad habits and sin the same thing? Yes and no. You can make a habit of making bad choices which turn into sins. For example let’s suppose that you have a habit of watching too much television. Watching television is not in itself a sin, but what if you spent so much time watching TV that you never have time to read the Bible or pray. That’s when it becomes sin because you are putting the TV above God which is breaking the commandment, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3, NKJV).
How can I change my bad habits? Bad habits must be changed with determination and God’s help. It’s in the Bible, "The person who has been born into God’s family does not make a practice of sinning, because now God’s life is in him; so he can’t keep on sinning, for this new life has been born into him and controls him--he has been born again"(1 John 3:9, TLB). In other words, when Jesus comes in, we become more like Him.
Form the habit of focusing your thoughts on good things. It’s easy to be negative about other people, or concentrate on bad things, but the Bible says, "Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about” (Philippians 4:8, TLB).
What good habits can I start and maintain? Tithing is an excellent habit to develop. It’s in the Bible, "Bring the whole tithe (10 percent) into the storehouse (God’s church), that there may be food in my house” (Malachi 3:10, NIV). If you read the next verse you will discover that God will give back to you more than you gave to Him.
Does the Bible tell about any of Jesus habits? Yes. One of His habits was going to worship each week. "He went to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day He went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And He stood up to read" (Luke 4:16, NIV).
Prayer is a valuable habit. Along with a joyful and thankful heart, prayer is mentioned as God’s will for you. “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV).
Reading the Bible is another valuable habit. It’s in the Bible, “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23, NIV).
Make a list of your good habits and a list of your bad habits. Ask the Lord to help you decide which habits to keep and which ones you should get rid of. God wants to live within you. He will give you strength to overcome any bad habits. Remember that everything about us is important to God. He wants you to be the very best that you can be.