Read Psalm 85:1-13. Satan doesn’t have to be very creative in tempting us to do wrong. Usually, he simply tempts us to fall back into our usual bad habits. If you think back over the sin you have battled throughout your life, I suspect you will see it’s been the same one!
And yet the Psalmist says we should not return to our foolish ways. Why do we do so, so often? Our bad habits are built over many years. They may even have developed in childhood. They may help us resist pain or deal with stress. They’re so familiar to us we are tempted to think there are no better ways to deal with pain and stress in our lives.
Often our bad habits reward us with something that seems good at the time (another cream cake, anyone?). The short-term reward often seems to cover up the long-term consequences.
And Satan is very good at whispering in our ears. If we do try to deal once-and-for-all with our bad habits, he will tell us it won’t work. He’ll persuade us we’re not strong enough. He’ll remind us how many times we’ve failed before.
So how can we sin less and get rid of our bad habits? It’s by learning to know Jesus, the One through whom you were created and to allow his Holy Spirit to help us become like him:
Colossians 3:10 NLT
Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.
Take the opportunity this Advent to listen carefully to what God is saying to you and ask his Son to help you turn your back on your bad habits. That is the path to true peace.
THINK IT OVER
Think about the following:
• How does it feel to know it is possible to leave in freedom from your bad habits?