Chapter 18. Bad Habits

As I write this there is a man directly across from me who is repairing a pornographic magazine.  Through the several months we’ve shared our common area, he has become convicted and has acknowledged his behavior and relationship for such material as sinful, yet he is not ready to give it up.  He has stated quite emphatically, “We are in an excellent place to give up bad habits, and the State should be the leader in helping us to leave here with clean slates.”  He’s spoken truth but it being accomplished is never put into place and explains why our prison system do not work and inmates are more apt to return.

How can we do better as an individual if our society chooses to ignore our problems?  Many of us enter these gates having bad habits which are slowly and methodically destroying us.  What we can and should do is if those leaders who are not willing to provide for our behavior modifications and not willing to provide us safe havens so we may become productive citizens, then we need to be proactive in doing it for ourselves.  Let’s face it and be honest, most of the common bad habits we bring into these walls are:  smoking of any substances, illicit drugs, pornographic imagery, coarse language and filthy words, stealing, lying and these are only a few of the major ones.  We should be determined whatever time has been given us we will not leave here doing the same, although surrounded by those who do such.  I do not have to be one who does so also.

Personally, I struggled with pornography prior to being here and I consider what is going on right across from me as an opportunity to grow and leave behind not to make excuses so I could continue living a life filled with bad habits.  My fight with cigarette smoking ended now going on thirty-three years!  I remember the filthy habit of smoking three packs a day, but no longer.  Why can’t pornography, too, have an eventual length of time of sobriety, rather victory?  It can and it begins today before I can achieve two days.

Bad habits are not easily broken and I do not agree with the concept of having to replace them with good habits.  You’ve done nothing but transference.  There is a power which can end the habit because it was bad leaving room, finances and time for something better, but not for the purposes of ending one.  I did not replace cigarette smoking with anything other than the desire not to smoke again, and I haven’t.  Now, given this place, I can utilize the time, with prayer for God’s help to help me overcome my bad habit of pornography, not to replace it with good photography.  The desire begins today which will continue upon leaving.

Today God revealed to me why He removed me from a very desirable environment to where I am today due to His way of protecting me and others due to my bad habit!  Now, I have the opportunity to be given something good because I can and have acknowledged the bad habit and can begin to allow Him to remove it from me.  You see, it is not us who accomplishes this—truly, but only God!  Today we can begin to live lives worthy of sharing with others, without the secrecy needed to continue living in our faith.

Chapter 19

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