A nugget is ‘a valuable idea or fact’. I have two examples – one personal and a non-personal example – to use to illustrate the possibility of attitudinal or behavioral changes in people’s lives. Change in people’s attitude or habits can go either way. It can be from good to bad and vice versa. The latter is more desirable.
As an undergraduate, I knew a person who didn’t appear so interested in the things of God. Academically too, he didn’t appear as serious as some of us were then. One could say he was being youthful and that took a better part of him. But today, when I chat with him, I cannot but agree that he has come out of a ‘bad’ state into light. Today, the same person who didn’t seem to take God’s things serious now sends me daily Christian devotionals ceaselessly. He is so consistent with it. He has changed.
Before (and around) the second half of last year, I was good at using my teeth as nail cutter. It was a bad habit I tried to stop for many years. For many years before then, I could cut my fingernails with my teeth while walking on the road, seated in the bus or in the church, classroom, etc. I couldn’t stop the bad habit.
Sometime last year, I decided to stop it after my fiancée had continued to show displeasure at it too. I had tried it before but I failed still. But last year, I did something I never really thought could be so phenomenal. After avoiding using my teeth as nail cutter for some days or weeks, I posted on my Facebook wall that I had finally stopped using my teeth as nail cutter. The comments that followed the post showed me some facts:
There are people who don’t have the bad habit of using teeth as nail cutter.
There are people who are struggling with the bad habit too and who came out sincere about it.
The phenomenal impact the Facebook post and the accompanying comments had on my permanent stop of using my teeth as nail cutter is that I found it good to know that I was coming out of a bad habit some still struggle with. It further consolidated my victory over the bad habit. I cannot tell, but it is likely that, one or two people could have taken the right step too after that post.
There is no bad habit anyone is struggling with that cannot be stopped. Habits are most times cultivated unconsciously but it requires a conscious effort to stop them. It requires a concrete decision. The temptation to go back to them will always surface until it will become a past thing if the individual involved continues to maintain a non-compliant stand against the temptation.
Many negative habits (such as per-marital sex, lying, cheating, masturbation, anger, hatred, etc) which people struggle with can be stopped if they are indeed committed to a change process. Chief among this process is the decision to stop. Decision, as simple as it sounds, can give one victory over bad habits. Then telling a friend or two about your decision can be a check-and-balance on you. This is why confession of one’s sins with one’s mouth does a whole lot of wonder.
On a last note, it is important not to give up on people. Bad people today can be good tomorrow. People who appear as never-do-wells can go through a change process that will make them campaigners of positive things tomorrow. An apt example is that of Paul.
The possibility of change in a bad habit you struggle is a fact you cannot hide from. You can come out of whatever bad habit you struggle with. You can avoid the guilt that comes with it if you can make a decision and pray for grace to be on God’s side.
On this day, decide to break from bad habits that make you feel guilty or go deeper in personal dirt. I believe this is possible because I have seen it happen and it will continue to happen. Will you be willing to be the next changed person?
Happy New Month. It is our month of blessing and enlargement.
VASK is saved by grace.