Out With the Bad, In With the Good
Bible Reading: Ephesians 4:17-24
Throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. Ephesians 4:22-23
If Marissa had a buck for every time she had counted to ten when she felt like bopping someone in the nose, she would be running neck and neck with Bill Gates for richest person in the world. With the threat of getting kicked out of school hanging over her head, she decided to steer clear of fistfights. Keeping her conflicts down to screaming matches, she figured, was a worthy goal. She still wanted to be bad-just not as bad as she’d been.
Talk about it: What’s the best way to get rid of an ugly habit in your life?
Take a tip from the chemistry kit on your toy shelf. What’s the best way to force gas out of a test tube? If you answered, “Pour liquid into the test tube,” you’re right. The liquid pushes out the gas because they both can’t occupy the same space.
There’s a similar principle for dealing with bad habits. You don’t get rid of them by replacing them with habits that are a little less bad. You replace bad with good. And the way to do that is by changing how you think.
If you want to inject good thoughts, you can do it by memorizing Scripture. God’s Word forces out unhealthy thoughts by stuffing your brain full of the best thoughts.
Start by memorizing a Bible verse each week. Here are some great places to begin: Psalm 51:10;Psalm 119:9, ll;Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 10:13;Philippians4:8.
Memorize each verse word for word. Find a Bible translation that’s easy to understand, then write the verse on a small card you can keep in your pocket.
Meditate on the verse. Ask yourself what the verse means. Think about the verse throughout your day.
Apply the verse to your life. Complete the statement: “As a result of this verse, I will…”
Review. Go over the new verse every day for two months, then once a week.
The best way you can keep Bible verses fresh in your mind is to respond in some way to what you’ve memorized. Whenever you’re tempted to go back to an ugly habit, pull out one of your memory verses, review it, and go over it in your mind until the good thoughts force out the bad thoughts.
TALK: Say it in your own words: How does the Bible help you break bad habits?
PRAY: God, remake us to think like you through the Scriptures we memorize.
ACT: Make a plan to slowly but surely get your brain full of God’s best thoughts.