In Christ's Strength
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
—PHILIPPIANS 4:13, NKJV
Bookstore shelves are crowded with advice on how to break bad habits. Follow these eight steps. Wear this motivational wristband. Go to a hypnotist. Hire a personal rainer.
Specific techniques might help you break certain habits—it doesn't hurt to count to ten before speaking when you're upset, for instance. But the only way to make loving people a habit that flows naturally from your soul is through God's power.
To become a more loving person, you need to acknowledge to yourself and to God that you fall into unloving habits and you want to change. Be as specific as possible when you pray. Does your husband's tendency to leave muddy shoes on the carpet bring out your impatience more than anything else? Are you so weary of a co-worker's rudeness that you struggle to speak kindly to her? Tell God what it is that most often causes you to fall into unloving patterns.
Paul's declaration that you can do all things through the strength of Christ offers hope when unloving habits overwhelm you. You can't win this battle through willpower; it is Christ in you who offers the strength you need to love others.
Father, I want to break unloving patterns in my life. Specifically, I want to __________ .
Dr. Gary Chapman is the beloved best-selling author of The Five Love Languages and Love as a Way of Life. For more information, click here.