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Friday, October 12, 2012

Getting Stuck in Those Bad Behaviors

Proverbs 31 had a devotional this week, "GettingUnstuck From My Thinking Rut" by Lysa TerKeurst that reminded me so much of what Kris Goertzen had to share with us on Tuesday morning. I had to share a few of my own thoughts with you this week.
   
Kris shared a list of 50 ways to have a terrible marriage. Interesting title, don't you think? Certainly not something any of us want to strive to attain, yet how easily we fall into these traps. How many of you were convicted by that list? I certainly was!
  
argue in front of the kids,
belittle his words,
second-guess his decisions,
finish his sentences,
run up credit card balances...
  
Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.
  
We talked in our small group about how hard it is to change even when we know we need to stop behaving the way we do. We don't have enough willpower to change our bad habits! We have to go to the Lord, which is exactly what Kris was encouraging us to do. Go to the Lord in the morning for wisdom and guidance for your day. Go to the Lord in the evening with a spirit of repentance and reflection on the day.
  
In her devotional, Lysa talks about how physiologically our brains form patterns that with each repetition grow deeper and are embedded more fully into our processes. It is very hard to change the patterns. I know this is true - I've been trying to have more patience...for years. Trying to change my tone of voice and attitude in moments of frustration & stress...for years. It's always a step forward, a step back. Perhaps a little progress, but by no means where I want this area of my life to be.
  
These things aren't going to change overnight. They could. God could miraculously heal me, but more likely, it's going to require my seeking God in the morning. Hiding his word in my heart. Committing myself to the truth. Reviewing my day and seeking repentance at night. Asking for forgiveness when I mess up. Knowing the power to change does not rest in my abilities, my self-control, my willpower, but in the power of the Holy Spirit.
 
So, I encourage you to spend just two minutes each morning as you get out of bed in prayer over your day and those habits you know need to change. Loving God. Seeking God.
 
Then, another two minute prayer before bed in repentance, in confession, in gratitude. Clearing away the junk each night surely improves our ability to hear the Spirit as we go about our days.

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