Morning Meditation: Changing Besetting Habits

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The $10 Challenge

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” – John 8:34

“I hate being late,” my friend lamented. “It has been a problem for me all my life.”

“Do you really want to change that?” I asked.

“Yes, I do.”

“All right. Every time you are late to work or anywhere else where you have committed to be at a particular time you must give me $25.”

“No way!” my friend responded. “I would go broke! But I will do $10.”

“All right, $10 it is. It has to be a large enough amount of money for it to hurt your pocketbook.”

“Believe me, that will hurt,” my friend said. About a month later my friend found great motivation to be on time to every place she had to be. In the first week, I got only $10 from my friend. The next week, $20. The third week, nothing. By the fifth week, my friend had changed a lifelong habit that had hindered her all her life. In order for my friend not to be resentful of me for the money she had to give, we put it in a jar to be given to some other Christian cause. This ensured my motive was only for her best interest.

Some might be reading this now and say it is legalism. For my friend it was freedom. For the first time she had some means of changing a behavior that had caused her problems in relationships and her own work habits. Psychologists tell us that it takes 21 days to form a habit. So, if you need to change some habit, you need to be actively engaged in that new behavior at least 21 days. My friend needed help to change a habit she didn’t like about herself. It took another individual to hold her accountable, and it took a potential loss of something to provide the added incentive.

TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

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