Anonymous Chick threw me this challenge and I know everyone has been wondering if I dodged it. Well, I wanted to be sure I was coming from a place of compassion. God has been dealing with me on the subject of humility and I realise that a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. I have overcome many challenges in my life using this very method. It is no different from what you are taught in church. The only thing is I used it and you may not have, yet.
Romans 12 :2 says that we should not just fit into the pattern of the people we live amidst but become transformed by changing the way we think. Just as the butterfly will never and can never become a caterpillar again, your change should be for real. A lot of motivational speakers claim that any thing you do consistently for 21 days, becomes a habit for life. It is recommended that you replace every negative habit with a good one because nature abhors vaccum.
Let’s use James in the story “Fur coat and No Knickers” as a case study. His bad habits were
2. Living beyond his means
3. Borrowing incessantly.
You can supply the rest. To be rid of addictions you have to first admit you have them. So if I were addressing James, he would have to admit he is a Liar, Hypocrite and Borrower. He needs to ask for mercy for his sins and then ask for grace to overcome them. Next, I want to trace the root of his problem.
Is it that he grew up so poor that he feels inadequate?
Was he allowed to get away with lying as a child?
Does he feel people ‘owe’ him their money because he is incapacitated or what?
I want to trace the root . There is a prayer I learned from a book I read long ago. “Lord, deliver me from the effects of my UNHEALED HURTS, UNRESOLVED ISSUES & UNMET NEEDS.” Many of us do not realise that we have been acting the way we do because of a comment someone made long ago. We still hear our hearts beating faster and our stomach tightens when we are in certain situations. It is time to to be set free in Jesus name!
After this prayer, James has to say he is ready to change. The wrong lifestyle can be more convenient and not everyone wants the narrow way. If he is ready, he has to find and memorize a scripture for every habit. He will learn to quote it to himself, under his breath several times a day. When it has become a part of him, he can whip it out when ever he feels pressured to repeat his past behaviour. Then the courage to say No will come.
For Lying, the bible says “Speak the truth to your neighbours” and “No liar will have an inheritance in God’s kingdom”.
For living above his means, the bible says, “Be humble in your estimation of yourself” and “Be content with what you have for man’s life does not consist of the abundance of his possessions”.
For borrowing, “Owe no man anything but the debt of love” and “The borrower is servant to the lender”.
When he has spent enough time going over and over these, conviction will set in. The next step is to ask for help. Get someone to teach him how to make a budget. He can also get an accountability partner to keep him faithful. By recording his daily expenses, he can track waste and tighten his belt. I guarantee that in 21 days, he will have an answer for every wrong impulse. There you have it, muses. I have emptied myself. Feel free to add your opinion.
Cheers, Dr. N.