Overcoming a Self-Defeating Habit or Habitual Sin

Overcoming a Self-Defeating Habit or Habitual Sin - Grace Fox

If we truly want to overcome a self-defeating habit or habitual sin, then banishing inaccurate thinking and replacing it with truth is key.

As a woman who’s been on a wellness journey for several years, I’ve learned to identify personal habits that lead to defeat. Here’s one example.

Any time I’m in a public setting where there’s a snack table present, I tend to park myself near it during conversations. That way, I can easily fill my plate with nibbles. Once. Twice. Three times. You get the picture.

That habit totally defeats my desire to maintain my weight loss. If I want to overcome it, I have to do something different. The most effective behavioral change in that setting is to serve myself one healthy snack and then move far from the table to eat it. As in—the opposite side of the room far away. Out of sight, out of mind.

Another self-defeating habit is to hold onto my empty plate. My tastebuds taunt, “Fill it! Fill it! Fill it!” The wise response is to put the dirty plate where it belongs and then refuse to replace it with a clean one. If I do, I’ll most certainly succumb to temptation.

Replacing wrong behaviors

Overcoming a self-defeating habit necessitates turning away from wrong or harmful behavior and replacing it with a right or helpful behavior.

The same principle works in our spiritual lives. Isaiah 55:7 says,

“Let the people turn from their wicked deeds. Let them banish from their minds the very thought of doing wrong! Let them turn to the LORD that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”

If we want to become godly women, then we need to turn from sin and turn to the LORD.

We shift our focus from what’s wrong to what’s right, and we act on it:

  • We turn from speaking criticism to speaking words of life.
  • We turn from serving our own wants to serving others’ needs.
  • We turn from comparison to contentment.

But there’s one more thing: we retrain the way we think about these wrong behaviors. Rather than flirting with thoughts about them—how we can engage in them without consequence or without getting caught—we banish them from our minds. We focus our thoughts instead on the Lord and fill our minds with His truth.

Changing the way we think ultimately influences our behaviors in both the physical and the spiritual aspects of life. If we truly want to overcome a self-defeating habit or habitual sin, then banishing inaccurate thinking and replacing it with truth is key.

How about you?

How have you overcome a self-defeating habit or habitual sin?

Know you are loved,


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  1. Five years ago I decided to lose the extra weight and I was committed to six months of serious devotion not only to losing weight but also with the trust in our LORD that He would help me to do so! Surely, I took off the weight and have maintained my new weight goal ever since. Thank you, Grace, for sharing with us your amazing words about what life is all about….JESUS!

    1. Hi Ann. Thanks for sharing your story here. I’m thrilled for you regarding success in your wellness journey. Maintaining one’s weight after a healthy loss is difficult, but with God’s help, you (and I) can do it, right?

  2. Thank you Grace for being honest with us about your struggles and how you are consciously focused on overcoming them. As an insulin dependent diabetic I struggle with wrong food choices, in particular chocolate. I believe an addiction to chocolate is a truth. I wrestle with this at home and away from home. What you said makes perfect sense. Stay out of the candy department ,not putting myself in harms way. Filling my mind with God’s truth is great. My body is the temple of God is the first truth that comes to me, Great words to consider when temptation comes. Blessings Grace

    1. Hi Elizabeth. I’m so glad you stopped by and left your comment here. Thanks for being vulnerable, too. It helps to know we’re not alone, right?

      Regarding staying out of temptation’s way — I have to remind myself of that when I’m in a grocery store or gas station convenience store. “Stay out of the chip aisle!” I tell myself. If I wander that way, I will surely fall flat in my good intentions. If I walk down that aisle, I find it so easy to justify buying them. ie: “How about that? They’re on sale. I’ll buy two bags and put them away for when company comes.” Ha!

      Yes, there is a way of escape for every temptation. But we have to use it!

      1. Thanks Grace, we do think alike. Easy to justify buying those things not good for us. Your final comment: so true

  3. Thank you, Grace, for this post.
    I have struggled with my weight too. I enjoy sweet things, especially chocolate and rich creamy ice cream not to mention sugary drinks aka pop.
    About 10 years ago I reprogrammed my brain to consider all sugary drinks especially pop as poison. By the grace of God I rarely drink pop. But I continue to struggle with chocolate and ice cream. My current strategy is to avoid both completely because when I have half cup of ice cream, my taste buds want more.
    Before I know it I’m on the 3rd cup. Then the wheels fall off and I just lose control. I am always thankful whenever I avoid ice cream. My prayer is to have self control in the long term so I can have a little bit without losing my wheels.

    1. Hi Edna. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments here. I’m sure many readers can relate to your experience. I commend you on retraining your brain regarding pop. I have a friend who did that, too, and it worked.

      I’ve had to retrain my brain in several ways as well. Early on in my weight loss journey, I faced a lot of temptations that seemed insurmountable. When that happened, I would tell myself, “The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in me. Surely that’s enough power to help me say no to this junk food.” That worked!

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