1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
I heard on the radio this morning a snatch of the news saying something about today being national kick the habit day. I think the reference may have been to kicking the smoking habit.
It is not easy to “kick” a bad habit. But there are ways to succeed in doing so.
One way is by the exercise of sheer will power. You can simply choose to stop in a manner sometimes called “cold turkey.” As a part of successfully doing this you must not make any further provision to practice that habit. If smoking is the habit, don’t buy or accept any tobacco products. You are fooling only yourself if you say you want to kick the habit but keep on buying them! Another part of successfully kicking a bad habit is to not have close relations with others who are enjoying the habit, or at least succumbing to the habit you wish to avoid. Sometimes this way of keeping clear of the bad habit you wish to stop practicing is hard to do. But you can make room in your life for a different or even new set of friends to get closer to, friends who do not participate in practicing the habit you wish to drop.
Another way to successfully drop a bad habit is to experience the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ by reading the New Testament daily for yourself. Read the New Testament until you literally “get converted” to a genuine faith in Jesus Christ. This is not religion. This is not a denomination or church. This is experiencing the power of Jesus Christ in your life as a result of the transformation He will bring to your life as you faithfully and daily carefully read and believe His word in the New Testament.
I know from first-hand experience as a public school teacher at the high school level for many years, nearly four decades, that when I have counseled students who came to me with unbearable problems to seek the one remedy that actually works by reading the New Testament for themselves, that they experienced the transformation in their life that changed everything for the better for them.
I know from first-hand experience as a team member with Teen Challenge many years ago sharing the gospel of Christ along Second Avenue in downtown Detroit that the gospel of Christ radically changes and transforms the lives of those I witnessed to, delivering them from drugs and unwise and unproductive lifestyles.
I know from my direct experience speaking to groups of men at the Detroit City Rescue Mission and the Howard Street Mission that men were delivered from long-term alcoholic addiction and brought to a lasting new life in Christ.
I think I still have in my possession compositions, senior pictures with notes to me on their reverse side, and letters from some of the individuals I have met and shared the message of Christ with who subsequently followed my advice to make a serious daily habit of reading and studying the New Testament who testify to how their lives were transformed as a result.
Reading a bit more of the context of what Paul writes in a modern English translation which brutally spells out the names of the sins Christian converts were delivered from should be highly instructive:
1Co 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals,
1Co 6:10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God.
1Co 6:11 Some of you once lived this way. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
There are some modern-day groups among us who are horrified at the thought that someone who was misled into their sinful lifestyle could be delivered from it through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have read that in some places there are laws against attempting to deliver individuals who want to escape such lifestyles. Well, such laws, in my opinion, belong under the category I have tagged here as “Nonsense in the News.” I agree with the Apostle Paul that:
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Without question, if you avail yourself of the power of God available to you through the gospel of Christ by daily reading and believing the New Testament, you will be supernaturally delivered from the stresses, anxieties, and endless pressures that impact your life. You will receive the strength you need to “kick the habit”!