• Gail Armatys


We all have habits. Some are good and give us forward momentum. Some aren’t like that at all. We call them, bad habits. These bad habits are destructive and can keep us from experiencing God’s intended purpose for our lives.

Here are three key habits with introspective questions to follow to help you live in the freedom already given you, not stuck in a rut watching the life you hoped for sift through your fingers.

1. The Habit of Making Excuses

Making excuses is one way we protect, explain away, or release ourselves from blame or fault. On the surface, excuses seem to help us feel better about unmet expectations and our issues.

The problem with an excuse is that it covers the truth. It’s like putting makeup over a blemish or scar. It hides the real issue for as long as it can, but at some point, the covering is removed and the real issue remains.

What should you do instead? Seek to uncover any excuses you make for being late, over-eating, not taking care of your health, not doing that project you need to tackle, not growing your relationship with Jesus … whatever. There are lots of things we make excuses about.

Remember when God confronted Adam and Eve after they ate from the one and only tree in the lush garden he had forbidden? When the Lord asked, “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?” Adam responded with a blaming excuse: It was the woman!

I’m pretty sure he was pointing his finger at Eve and backing up at the same time.

The next time you hear yourself making excuses, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to your heart.

What are your excuses? What truth are they really covering or hiding?

2. The Habit of Destructive Thinking

Are you feeling stuck in thoughts that aren’t, let’s just say, uplifting or life-giving? Thoughts like:

· I’m not smart enough.

· I can’t because ….

· I’ll never fit in.

Your destructive and natural thought habits are inherited and learned. They manage your attitude and create your life. If your personality is to persistently self-examine and think in ways that are destructive, over-critical, and pessimistic you may find yourself living in constant disappointment, resentment, moodiness, and even pride—pride because you’re thinking about you, your afflictions and what you lack nearly all of the time.

The Christian women I work with are astounded by the spiritual and personal growth they experience in their lives as they begin to intentionally examine their thoughts or, take their thoughts captive to Christ, as taught in 2 Corinthians 10:5.

Bring light to these lies and dark thoughts by being on the lookout for them, noticing them, and then replacing them with truths that are honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise. (Phil 4:8)


Destructive Thought: Nobody likes me.

Replaced by: I am a beloved child of the King. Or, I am a friend of God.

Or, God is for me!

You get the idea.

What negative and destructive thoughts do you habitually think about yourself? Name them. Replace them. Speak the truth out loud. Keep doing it!

3. The Habit of Going it Alone

In a world that teaches self-reliance and independence, it’s easy for us to think the best thing to do is to go it alone. To take care of things on our own, and not bother others with our challenges, burdens, unmet goals, and dreams. But it’s not God’s way.

About a year ago I heard someone use the words fiercely independent in describing their relative. The words stuck with me, as the Holy Spirit will allow, until I understood the descriptive words pretty much fit me to a ‘t’.

I suppose I adopted this habit as I made my way through a divorce in a state where, at the time, I had few friends and no family. What I know now is that while we may think we have no other choice, alone-ness is a lie the enemy wants you to believe … especially in this time of isolation.

You and I can and are meant to continue to reach out first to God and then to others for help, fellowship, encouragement, and strength. We don’t have to do our days and life on our own. We aren’t meant to. There are people who want to help.

You, my friend, are not alone.

When was the last time you asked someone for help? What might be keeping you from reaching out to others?

I’m not one to tell people to give up, but I make an exception in this case. If these are three habits you recognize in your life, it’s time to drop them, give them up. You’ll quickly enjoy living a stronger more energized life.

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