Have a habit of eating too many donuts? A habit of gossip? A habit of laziness? A habit of lust? Let’s get real.

I’m not perfect. In fact, nobody is perfect. Some see this as a bad thing, but I see it as one of the best things. Here’s what I mean; every saint was a sinner, which means being a sinner is a requirement for becoming a saint! More importantly, being a sinner is a requirement to be Christian, because it allows Jesus to save us! That means that you and I are qualified!

The Ugly Truth

If we know that we are qualified to be Christians and saints by being sinners, then we know that we sin. Sometimes this can mean different things for different people, but I want to make sure that we are all clear on what I mean when I say “sin”.

Sin is anything that breaks our relationship with God. Sin is knowing that God is calling us to do something but choosing to do something else.

If we want to be best person that we can be, then we have to acknowledge where we sin. This feels bad, because we have to reflect on the times that we were not who we want to be. It’s ugly and can hurt, but it’s necessary to become the people that we all want to be. So here’s what I want you to do: write down where in your life your relationship with God is broken. List it out. Take a few moments to think about it.

I’m just going to take a guess here, but I bet you have one or two sins that you struggle with all the time. I know that I have and still do.

The Beautiful Lie

This is one of Satan’s biggest and favorite lies to tell us; that this sin is a part of us that we can never get rid of. It’s easy to fall into the trap of accepting this, because it’s always been there and you’ve never been able to turn away from it. Get it in your head right now that this sin, whatever it is, is not a part of you, but just a bad habit. That’s all that it is. One of the best things that we can do to combat this lie is to pray for God to reveal the truth about our habits. Understanding the truth is wonderful, but how can we get rid of these bad habits?

Here are six steps to getting rid of habitual sin:

  1. Write down the excuses you usually make for committing that sin. Study them, and learn what lies Satan is trying to put into your head so that you know what to look out for. These are red flags; whenever these thoughts go through your head, an alarm should go off.
  2. Physically remove yourself from any situation that leads you toward the sin. Move things, throw things away, leave doors open, avert your eyes, change your schedule; whatever it is, do it. If you don’t even let yourself get into situations that lead you to sin, imagine how much easier it will be to break the habit.
  3. Confide in someone you trust with the sin you are struggling with. I recommend someone of the same gender; it is just easier to be honest that way. Get this accountability partner so you don’t have to walk this road alone. When you’re struggling and feel as if you are about to fall, text them so they can give you encouragement or get you out of the situation.
  4. Replace that sin with prayer. If sin is turning away from God, the best way to build that relationship up is to turn towards God in prayer. Commit yourself to a new devotion in prayer. One of the best ways to commit yourself to prayer is to pray a rosary for anyone else who is struggling with that same sin. If you know anyone specifically, let them know that you are praying for them, and know that your prayers are helping change their life.
  5. Acknowledge and pray to your guardian angel. One of our greatest assets and friends is one that we can’t see and that we rarely think about. Our guardian angels are always with us, fighting for our righteousness, protecting us from Satan and sin. (I’m looking forward to writing more about this topic soon!)
  6. Go to Confession! This one is huge. It’s the game-changer. Without it, most people would not be able to get out of habitual sin. Inside the confessional is where Christ’s triumph over death and sin is fulfilled today. He is a God of love and mercy, and He wants to give that mercy to you.

These steps sound great, but why should you take my word for it? It’s a great question, and one that I would ask myself. Let me tell you-

My (Short) Story of Sin

I was addicted to one habitual sin for the longest time. It was just a really bad habit that I couldn’t shake. I knew it was wrong and that it was twisting me, and I tried to stop so many times, but I just couldn’t. My journey was a lonely one. I didn’t let anyone know that I was struggling. I just kept it to myself. It wasn’t until I made a promise to myself that I made any headway with this habit. I vowed to go to Confession as soon as I could after falling into sin. I vowed to lay down my pride and just go, because I knew that Jesus was calling me to Him there. It wasn’t easy. I would have a good week, a good month, and then I would fall flat on my face. Every time that I did, though, I went to Confession. Eventually, I said enough is enough, and I allowed God’s grace from all those Confessions to finally take root in my heart. I started to take prayer seriously, and I was able to stop. I was free for nine months before I fell again. It was honestly one of the most disheartening things, to fall back down when I thought that it wasn’t a problem anymore. But I went to Confession, and (big surprise) Jesus still forgave me! This sin is no longer a problem in my life, and it’s something that I’m incredibly grateful to God for. Looking back, it was my commitment to answering Jesus’ call to Confession that pulled me out of that dark place.

I wish I had an accountability partner. I wish I prayed to my guardian angel. I wish that I removed myself from situations that led me to sin. I wish that I recognized the excuses that I used every single time. Jesus still freed me from this sin without these steps, but I could have let Him heal me so much sooner.

If you want to break your bad habit, follow the steps above. More importantly, be persistent and patient with yourself. Breaking a habit is a process, and it normally doesn’t happen overnight. The best advice I can give you is to commit yourself to going to Confession every single time you fall. Drop off the sin, and pick up the grace.

I’m praying for you always,

-Matt Muhich