In the Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg writes, “Scientists have studied the brains of alcoholics, smokers, and overeaters and have measured how their neurology—the structures of their brains and the flow of neurochemicals inside their skulls—changes as their cravings became ingrained. Particularly strong habits, wrote two researchers at the University of Michigan, produce addiction-like reactions so that ‘wanting evolves into obsessive craving’ that can force our brains into autopilot, ‘even in the face of strong disincentives, including loss of reputation, job, home, and family.’”
-Power of Habit, p. 50. Illustration by Jim L. Wilson
Most of us know the struggle to break a bad habit—to get out of the ruts that the habits have “ingrained” in our minds. We know the feeling of helplessness when we fall into the bad habit again. That’s why our minds need to be renewed—the autopilot of our minds need to be reset, then we can break the bonds of the old and pave the way for the new.
Romans 12:1–2 (HCSB) Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.