Inspiration

5 Ways To Avoid Sinful Habits or Thoughts

The Bible
tells us that it is important to guard our minds from sinful thoughts.
From wrong thinking comes wrong actions. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
This verse says that to guard your heart it will take diligence. That
means it is something that doesn’t happen without effort. 2 Corinthians
10:5 says that we need to bring wrong thoughts into captivity. We must
control our mind so that we can obey Christ. “Casting
down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against
the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the
obedience of Christ;”
So how are you to fill your mind with
the right thoughts? How can you fight this war against wicked thinking.
Here are five ways to help you avoid sinful thoughts which become wrong habits.

Fill Your Mind With God’s Word

Philippians 4:8 “Finally,
brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever
things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any
virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
The Bible fits the description of all these things that Paul writes about in Philippians. When you pack your mind with songs
full of ungodly lyrics you can’t expect to have pure thoughts. You need
to focus on the true, honest and pure teaching of the Bible.
Memorizing Bible verses and passages is a
great way to fill your mind with God’s Word. Look at some of the many
verse lists we have here at What Christians Want to Know: Bible Verses by Topic
and start memorizing God’s Word. If you are memorizing and meditating
on the Bible then it will begin to push out the ungodly thoughts from
the world and your past.

Keep Your Mind Clean

Psalm 101:3 “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.”
Job 31:1 “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?”
As the verse in 2 Corinthians reminds
us, the battle for your mind is an active one. It is not something that
you can passively win. You must work to keep your mind pure. The
psalmist says that he would set no wicked thing before his eyes. Job
covenanted with himself to keep his eyes pure because he knew that men
are attracted by what they see. These two verses say that if we can keep
our eyes from seeing things that are wicked then the likelihood of
keeping a pure mind is greater.
Yet, there is a daily battle for your
eyes. Driving down the road introduces you to billboards that promote
nudity, sex and sin larger than life. You must guard your eyes. You may
think, “Well, I can’t control that. I have to drive that way to work.”
That may be true, but let me ask you about the things you can control.
What are you watching on TV? What about the movies you watch or the
books and magazines you read? I am not just talking about the obviously
wicked items. You need to guard your eyes from many things on prime-time
television. A casual glance through health magazines at the doctor’s
office can bombard your eyes and mind with ungodly images that stir up
evil thoughts.
Yes, it is a battle, but it is a battle that we have been given the tools with which to fight.

Establish Accountability with Someone

Hebrews 10:24, 25 “And
let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not
forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some
is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day
approaching.”
Find a friend
who can hold you accountable. Meet with them regularly either in
person, over the phone or through the Internet. I have an accountability
partner that I regularly email to let him know what is going on in my
life. He knows that when I don’t write him on a regular basis it is
because there is something I am not wanting to share about what is going
on in life. Knowing that he expects me to report to him helps keep me
accountable.
Proverbs 11:14 and 15:22 say that we
should surround ourselves with counselors. These are church friends and
other mature Christians who can help with accountability. Being around
other people who want you to do right will give you good examples for
how to live.

View Others with Godly Eyes

I will set no wicked thing before my eyes
1 Timothy 5:1, 2 “Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.”
Think of other people as your brothers
and sisters. Even if the person is an unbeliever, you should still love
them like a sister. There are many stories in the Bible where Jesus
interacted with women. Sometimes they were vulnerable emotionally or
physically. However, you never see Jesus acting inappropriately toward
them. He always treated them in a godly and wholesome way. He treated
them like they were part of His family.
When you view other people as objects to
be desired then it is hard to have godly thoughts toward them. Remember
that even those who improperly display their bodies is someone’s
daughter, mother, brother or son. They may not be doing right, but that
does not give you a license to take advantage of them or to allow your
mind to continue towards unholy thoughts and actions.

Avoid Temptation

Romans 13:14 “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”
This verse has been the most helpful
verse to me in overcoming wrong thoughts which lead to wrong actions in
my life. Paul says that we should not make an easy way for the flesh to
win. Have you noticed a pattern in the temptation in your life? Do you
typically fall into sin at the same places or with the same people? I
noticed that in my life that was true. I learned that I could choose to
stay out of those places or stay away from those people and activities
that would cause me to sin.
Often we make temptation easy for
ourselves. We don’t try to avoid it. We want to play as close to it as
we can but then get upset when we fall into the sin. If you want to
avoid the sin, then avoid the situations that give you an opportunity to
sin. Don’t play with temptation and then claim that the devil made you
do it. That is a lie that you may be telling yourself, but you know it
is not true. We often bring the temptation and sin upon ourselves. Claim
the power of Romans 13:14 and have confidence that the God who wrote
this in His Word has the power to help you apply it in your life.

Conclusion

Avoiding sinful thoughts is not impossible; remember these things:

  • Be careful to fill your mind with God’s Word
  • Keep your mind clean (avoid the things that pollute your mind)
  • Establish accountability with a fellow believer and keep in touch
  • View others with godly eyes (even when they do not dress or act godly)
  • Avoid temptation – listen when the Holy Spirit prompts you to stay away

God has a reward for your endurance:

James
1:12-15 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is
tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised
to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted
of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any
man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”

David P.
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Tony Orji

Dr. Tony Orji is the founder and owner of Success Tonics Blog. He is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

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