You’ve come face to face with something that needs to change. It may be a sin that you know needs to be surgically removed from your life. It may be an action that continually hurts you or keeps you from moving forward. Whatever you are facing, you know that it can’t continue. You need a fresh start and you are ready to break free from the bad habits. Here are three steps to help you get started on your way to living in freedom.
Repentance is a big concept that requires two things from us. First we must believe and admit that the action is wrong. Right and wrong are hard to express in our culture. It is very easy for us to justify our actions instead of embracing the fact that sometimes we do the wrong things. Once we have established that the action is wrong, then we can move to the next step. We must accept our portion of responsibility for the wrong. There may be other environmental or relational factors that have brought you to this place, but we need to look past these and embrace our piece of the responsibility. When we become accountable, we are no longer victims of all of these other factors. We are in a position to make a change.
Don’t Remove – Replace
A lot of times we think the best way to break free is to just stop the action or sin. Depending on how significant or influential this habit is in your life, it can leave a sizable hole. Then we stand at the edge of that hole and stare into it. Before long, you might find yourself falling right back in. Instead of just removing the behavior that you know is wrong, replace it with something that will strengthen you and your relationship to God. Fill the time that you have normally have spent on a toxic activity with something that will add value to you instead. Prayer, devotional time, serving others, and relationship building can be great alternatives to negative behavior.
The idea of repentance carries with it the concept of a 180 degree turn. It is important that when we move away from things that can hurt us, we move in a completely different direction. It doesn’t benefit us to replace one negative behavior with another. It’s about more than change; it’s about restoration. Choose activities that will empower you to accomplish God’s will in your life and then fully engage those activities.