While growing up, my parents believed in discipline. When I was in the moment, there were many times I felt the need for discipline was unwarranted – but what do you expect? Of course, there were times when I knew my actions would have consequences. Still, I chose to continue with my decision for some reason and hoped the repercussions would not come to fruition. There were times when that was the case, and other times the hammer came down.

Unfortunately, habits were being formed whether I had to face the music or not. If I got away with something one time, I was confident I could get away with it the next time. What I needed though was correction, whether I thought I deserved it or not, for it’s through discipline that we tend to adjust our behavior.

Over the years, I have realized this holds true throughout life. We make choices, and those choices shape us. We still desperately need correction, but we still dislike it – especially now that we are grown adults. Sometimes our choices and actions don’t have a lasting impact, but sometimes they do. Either way, habits are being formed.

The area of personal finance is an easy example to consider. When we are young, we need to be taught the value of money, to trust in God to provide, and to find contentment in what we have. If we don’t grasp this at a young age (I did not) and don’t have someone teaching and correcting us, we will form lasting bad habits. Yes, we can overcome these bad habits, but not without understanding the need for discipline and transforming our old habits into new God-honoring habits.

It wasn’t until I grew in my faith, started trusting correction from other believers, and looked to God’s truth that I truly started to understand the value of money. I did not have a sudden epiphany but instead had my bad habits transformed over time. It is still a challenge today as many of my old habits are pushed onto us by the society and culture that surrounds us, but more and more, God’s truth has brought me freedom.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” – 1 Timothy 6:6-10

If there are bad habits that have seized control of your life, I challenge you to welcome correction and discipline. It can be a slow journey, but one that is well worth the pain and suffering.