Every Thursday I’ll send a note to your inbox with a devotional thought designed to help connect you with God, information about what’s going on at The Church at Clayton Crossings, and some fun facts to help us get to know one another.

 What I’m thinking
Couch potato. Video game addict. Online shopaholic.

Whatever your guilty habit, it owns you—and you’d be better off without it.

But resolutions to do better haven’t provided the transformation you need. Struggling to summon up more self-discipline has fallen flat. Your life is knee-deep in good intentions that went nowhere and you’re as stuck now as the day you started looking to break free.

Here are five strategies to help you transition to that better place and leave your habit behind:

Get real
Ask: What’s behind your habit? If you habitually shop because you’re bored, fix the boredom and you’ll take the wind out of your habit’s sails. Ask yourself: What emotional itch does your habit scratch? What’s the need your habit is filling?

Bullet-proof your environment
Jesus was right: the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak—so give your flesh some help. If you’re a Cookie Monster clone, purge the pantry now and when you’re craving a cookie they won’t be available. What’s one way you can habit-proof your home today?

Say it proud, say it loud
You’ll feel empowered for change if you reframe how you describe your efforts. Rather than “I can’t eat donuts” try “I don’t eat donuts.” This subtle shift signals you’re in charge of your actions—not the other way around. How are you talking about the habit you’d like to break—as a victor or victim?

Replace it
We’ve all got bad-habit triggers, whether it’s a time of day, season, or that certain “special” someone. Why not replace a bad habit with a good one? Plan in advance to respond to a specific trigger with one of the seven habits of a follower of Jesus?

Don’t go it alone
Ask someone you trust to hold you accountable and invite God to empower your efforts. When John wrote, “…for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 ESV) he probably wasn’t thinking about avoiding potato chips. But the truth remains: You do have God’s help as you move toward spiritual health and wholeness…if you want it.

How have you invited God into your struggle with your habit? And how might God be helping you?

What I need to remember:

  • WANT TO SERVE IN CUBA? We’re putting teams together for June 17-25 and November 15-22 trips (the deadline for the June trip is March 13). You don’t need any missions experience, just a valid passport and a willing heart. To learn more, email Adam Durovey at adurovey@gmail.com.
  • DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO NEEDS TO BE IN CHURCH? Maybe this is the week you take a risk and invite someone to meet you at church this Sunday. Arrange a Valentine’s Day group date for lunch afterward!

What I’m (still) reading–it’s been one of those weeks!:

What I’m listening to:

About me:
John Sanders is the non-stuffy pastor at The Church at Clayton Crossings. His primary mission is to help people find and follow Jesus. Additionally, he longs to write like the child of Aaron Sorkin and Dave Barry, preach like W.A. Criswell, look like Bradley Cooper, and eat like he’s seventeen years old. A more complete (and less snarky) bio can be found here.

Let’s be friends: