Q: I’d like to get rid of some bad habits I have, but I don’t know how. I’ve asked God to take them away, but it doesn’t seem to do any good. Do you have any suggestions? — W.W.
A: The most important thing I can tell you is that God doesn’t want you (or anyone else) to be a slave to your bad habits. The reason is because he loves you, and because he loves you, he wants to help you to be free from everything that harms you. The Bible reminds us that “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them” (2 Peter 2:19).
What can you do? The first step is to turn to Jesus Christ, admitting your helplessness and asking him to come into your life. You see, our sins have separated us from God, and our greatest need is to be forgiven of our sins so we can become part of God’s family. We also need him to come to live within us by his Spirit, helping us avoid what is wrong and do what is right.
And this is exactly what happens when we turn to Jesus and commit our lives to him. By a simple prayer of faith — in your own words — ask Jesus to come into your life today. The Bible says, “In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith” (Galatians 3:26).
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Then ask God to help you confront your bad habits and turn from them. When you are tempted to do something wrong, immediately turn to Jesus and ask him to help you. In addition, avoid places and people that tempt you to do wrong; don’t even go near them. The Bible says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or go to BillyGraham.org.