In this series, we share counsel from NewDay President Dan Johnson’s book, “The Journey to Freedom.” The book provides an overview of The Principles of Freedom, a study guide for individuals, and it is the primary text for Recovery Fellowship groups. It is based on the Exodus and the Israelites journey from bondage and slavery into the promised land.
How many things have you already lost because of your habit? Don’t minimize them, and be totally honest. How much money have you spent? How many relationships have you lost? Have you lost a job? Have you begun to lose your health? What else are you willing to lose before getting serious about changing? What are you afraid of losing?
One day while teaching, Jesus told a story about a prodigal son. A prodigal is someone who lives a reckless and wasteful life. In Jesus’ story, the prodigal refused to change until he was out of money and working on a hog farm. That was his “exit ramp event” when according to the text, “he came to his senses” (Luke 15:17).
Most everyone who is serious about changing can remember a moment that finally convinced them to take an exit ramp. That’s a good memory to have because it helps keep an addictive habit and its pain linked together in one’s mind.
It is critical to be honest with yourself about what you really think or want. It’s not about what you are trying to convince others of but what you really want for yourself. You are probably pretty good at saying the right thing to the right person at the right time. You know what your family, friends, and people at work want to hear. But if you are ever going to reach real freedom, you have to decide to change. What do you want: people thinking you are pursuing freedom or freedom itself?
- Make a list of the things you have lost because of your habit.
- What do you still have that you are afraid of losing?
- What are the excuses you’ve used in the past to avoid change?
- As of today, how strong is your desire to pursue a life of freedom?