Unlearning

I have often thought that in order to stop a bad behavior or habit I must try harder and harder. In fact, I even pray harder and harder asking God for the strength to stop. I am beginning to see that doing it that way makes it even more difficult for me.  I’ve tried learning a new behavior or setting my mind to do it a different way… thinking if I practice this habit it will replace that one. While doing that isn’t all wrong, it isn’t always the best thing for me either. Especially if I am trying to do it with my own power. I eventually find that the ultimate result leaves me with failure. Then I am back to square one with added shame and guilt. 

What God seems to want from me is not for me to try harder or to learn a new habit… He simply asks me to stop trying so hard and to surrender to Him. When I ‘let go’ I begin to feel the release of my own failing willpower and determination as if releasing the grip on a tight rope. I realize that when I try to do it myself, I wind up doing the same things I did that got me doing the old habit in the first place.
So instead of thinking that I need to learn a new habit, now I can see that God is here to help me “unlearn” the old ones in whatever way HE chooses. That is what I wanted for myself all along.
Thank you Father, for your patience with me. I find myself striving so hard to be and do what I cannot be and do on my own. Today I surrender my striving and my learning so I can “unlearn” the old “me ways” and allow you to replace them with your perfect ways. This is where my heart longs to be. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
 
Scripture reference:
“So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.”
“So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”

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