KEYWORDS: lord, things, others, habit, people, habits

Kicking Bad Habits & Winning Victories

Karen Zerby

Maria #127DO 26395/90

—A Talk from Mama to Techi

1. Techi, Honey, each day that you contradict & argue & are disrespectful or disobedient, those things become more & more of a habit, & you realise less & less that you're being that way. Anything that becomes a habit, you do automatically, & that's why you realise it less & less, because you just do it without thinking. That's what a habit is, see? When something becomes a habit, you may not even realise you're doing it. Habits are hard to break, & you really have to work hard to overcome them; whereas if you don't make something a habit in the first place, then you don't have to go through the hard work of breaking it.

2. I know how hard it is to break bad habits. I once got in a habit of arguing with Grandpa a long time ago, & it was really hard to break. I had to ask Peter & others to have prayer for me. So they prayed for me, but even afterwards, it was still hard. I even had to tell Peter, "When we're in meetings with Grandpa, if I start arguing or contradicting him, which I sometimes do almost automatically, would you please kick me under the table?—Or if you're sitting next to me‚ nudge me or something! I need help to break this bad habit!"

3. It had really gotten to be a bad habit! And once you've done something so much that it's become a terrible habit, then even if you want to break it, even if your heart is in the right place, it's still a very hard fight! And you can't usually do it on your own because you hardly even realise you're doing it. You have to have someone constantly tell you, "Techi, you argued." At first you'll probably say, "Oh no!—I didn't even realise it!" So it's a big battle to break a bad habit. It's very easy to make it, but very hard to break it! And arguing & contradicting can become habits really fast!

4. So I feel real burdened for you if you've made any bad habits like that, because now you're going to have to try to kick them! That's what they call it when you break your bad habits‚ they call it, "Kicking the habit!"—And you really do have to kick'm hard, & keep kicking'm, because they don't usually go away very quickly or very easily! And you have to have a lot of correction too, to help you get it through your head that it's that bad, & to make you really sit up & take notice!

5. Every day is important! Every day that you don't get the victory & that you keep arguing, contradicting & speaking out your doubts or your displeasure at people, every day that you keep doing it, you're just continuing to build that habit, & that's really sad. So the sooner you get the victory, the easier it's going to be for you, & the happier you're going to be, & the happier everybody else is going to be as well!


6. Parents & teachers & aunts & uncles aren't perfect & sometimes they don't do the right things. Maybe Auntie Amy does nag you too much sometimes. Maybe she sometimes jumps to conclusions about what you're thinking, & maybe sometimes she tells you to do the wrong things at the wrong time or maybe she doesn't give you enough time to finish a job.

7. But no adults are ever perfect. The Lord knew adults weren't going to be perfect, but He still told them that they were supposed to be the supervisors & the caretakers of their children's spiritual welfare, & He still told them to "spare not the rod." So He must have known that even though they weren't perfect, they could still do the job that He wanted them to do in helping their children grow up to be the kind of people they should be.

8. Some parents are too severe in their punishment, & others nag their kids too much, even Christian parents. They do a lot of things wrong. Sometimes they don't understand their children & they unjustifiably blame them for things, but they still have to go ahead & discipline them, they still have to chasten them, they still have to counsel them‚ because that's the job the Lord has given them. Even if they're not perfect, & even if they do some of the wrong things, at least they're doing something! At least they love their kids, & at least they're training & teaching & chastening them when they need it.

9. You just can't expect people to be perfect. Of course they're going to be wrong sometimes & they're not always going to understand you. But that doesn't make it any less important for them to try their best to teach you & to try to give you the right training & try to discipline you. No parents are always right. They all make mistakes, & they all occasionally do things that are wrong, & they don't always understand their kids. Sometimes parents blame the wrong children for the misdeeds‚ or they don't understand situations & they jump to conclusions, all kinds of things.

10. The Lord knew that parents wouldn't be perfect & that they'd make mistakes, but He has to use somebody, right? Even though they're imperfect, He's still got to use them. That's the job that He gave them, to try to bring their kids up the right way, the best way they can, the best way they know how.

11. So even if Auntie Amy isn't always right, you can't hold that against her or resent her for that. You just have to know that she's trying to do the best she can. She's the one who takes care of you the most, so she's the one you're bound to have the most problems with because she is the one who is probably nagging you the most & telling you what to do the most & telling you where you're wrong the most! But that's just the way it is, & you should try to be thankful for the fact that she loves you & that she is trying to do her best‚ even though she's not perfect.

12. Just like I once said, even if the parents in the World smoke & drink, it's still their responsibility to tell their children not to & not allow them to smoke & drink. You might say, "Well, that's hypocritical." Well, yes, you could look at it as hypocritical, or you could look at it as love. The poor parents have gotten hooked on something that they know is wrong, & something they wish they weren't hooked on.

13. They've formed bad habits that are dangerous to the life & health of not only themselves, but others.—Habits that waste money as well. So at least they're trying desperately to get their kids not to make the same mistakes they did, see? So even though they're doing it, they're trying to help their kids not to do it, because they love them. They know what it can lead to, so they're trying to spare them the same problems.

14. So some of us, even though we aren't perfect, we try to help you not to do the same things we did, or even still do now. See? We know the problems we've had with some things, & we don't want you to have to suffer from the same problems. Does that help explain things to you? Do you have any questions? I love you!

15. Well, maybe you're upset at Auntie Amy a lot, but she does try to do her best. She's not perfect either. You've probably had even more training than she has in some things, but the Lord has given her the job of trying to help & look after you, so you should try to make her job easier & you should try to be as yielded as you can to what she wants.

16. If I were your full-time teacher, you'd probably have just as many problems with me!—Because no matter how much you love a person & no matter how much they love you, no matter how sweet & good they are, if they're trying to get you to be good & you don't want to be good, you can get awfully exasperated (annoyed or aggravated) with them!


17. A lot of our Family leadership in the past weren't faithful to follow Grandpa's sample in the Letters‚ & they became domineering, quite dictatorial & pretty harsh & severe with the people that they worked with, & some people backslid because of it. But what do you think the Lord thought about that? Do you think the Lord excuses people for leaving the very important job He's given them just because they've had to go through some hard times under some real hard dictator? (Techi: I don't know, in a way‚ maybe.)

18. Well‚ you can certainly sympathise with them, but I think the Lord must have been disappointed when He saw they couldn't take the "fiery trials" (1Pet.4:12)‚ & they just pooped out. They obviously did what the Apostle Peter did when he was walking on the water: They took their eyes off Jesus & looked down at the waves & the "impossibilities," & they kept looking down until they completely sank!

19. Did you know that Peter & Paul Papers were in the Chain, & that they were under some very hard leaders like Rachel & Jeth & Deborah? But look at them today! They came through! Whereas other people who worked along with them couldn't take it & they went back. Peter & Paul stuck with the Family because:

"They kept their eyes on Jesus,

Didn't watch the waves.

They kept their eyes on Jesus,

It was faith in Him that saved!

They kept their eyes on Jesus,

His promises availed!

They kept their eyes on Jesus,

Praise God, He never failed!"

20. So you can't blame all your failings & problems on your leadership. "All things work together for good‚" & the Lord often allows things like that to toughen you up & to teach you things & even to teach you how not to be with others, & to teach you that He has the grace to help you to make it. There are lots of lessons the Lord can teach you through situations like that.

21. Peter & Paul went through a lot under the old Chain, but look what sweet & wonderful leaders they are today! They could have said, "I just can't be a good leader because Jethro's been over me & he's set me such a bad sample; in fact, he's been so mean to me, I'll just backslide!" But instead they knew the Lord had His hand on their lives & they wanted to stay faithful to Jesus. They clung to the Word & they did what the Lord wanted them to & they came through all those hard places.—And the Lord used it to teach them many lessons!

22. The Lord says all His Saints are going to have to suffer a little. (Phil.1:29; 1Pet.5:10)—And sometimes that means going through hard times under difficult people. But who could love you more than Amy or Gabe do? Think of all the people who have been victorious under people who really were hard with them, severe & harsh. It's very sad, but some of those old Chain leaders really didn't love the Lord as much as they should have‚ & they just weren't as loving with people as they should have been.

23. We have it so wonderfully in our Family now! We're with the most loving people in the whole World. We should really thank the Lord for that, amen?


24. Dear Lord, please bless Techi & help her! You take care of her, Lord. Help her to realise & see these things, Lord, to be fully persuaded of them in her own mind. And even if she can't quite see it all or understand it all, help her, Lord, just to accept things by faith.

25. Especially help her to accept the fact that You love her & that You're trying to teach her & that You want her to grow up, Lord, & be a good soldier for You, in Jesus' name. Bless & keep her & help her to really hang on to You no matter what!—Not to blame things on others, & not to blame things on You, not to blame things on anyone! Help her just to know that You love her, & You will help her get the victory, in Jesus' name! Amen!


26. OK, Honey? Thank you for sitting with me. I love you! When you win some good victories, think of all the valuable lessons you'll be able to share with others! That's another reason why the Lord lets us go through battles & tests like this, because He says that afterwards we can "comfort others with the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted."—2Cor.1:4. That's why most of our leaders have gone through a lot of difficult things, because now they can share all of their lessons with others.

27. Auntie Sara just said in her latest report‚ "Thank the Lord I went through all the things I did, & I had all my NWOs pointed out to me by you & by the other leaders I was working with before. I am really thankful for that now, because knowing my own weaknesses makes it possible for me to help others. I can see my own weaknesses in others, & then I can help them with their weaknesses." So she's real thankful that she's gone through all those trials & purgings & lesson-learning times. Just before she went on to her new big shepherding job, the Lord put her through a lot of big trials & tribulations, & now she's able to use all those lessons she learned, & she's very thankful for that.

28. The Lord lets His leaders go through a lot of things, so we can learn good lessons. See? You don't usually learn many lessons unless you hit some real rough spots, right? If you just sat around with everything going by so smoothly all the time‚ you'd never learn anything from it! You need to have some rough places & tough trials to overcome!

29. Like Grandpa says, to win victories, you've gotta fight battles, & there's no testimony without a test, & no triumph without a trial! So PTL, you've just got to keep fighting! Amen? GBY! ILY!


30. (Grandpa:) You're going to be greatly used by the Lord in the Future. But even Jesus said He learned obedience through the things which He suffered.—Heb.5:8. The things that you're suffering now will keep you humble & close to the Lord. Amen? "Yet learned He obedience through the things which He suffered." We all learn that way, Honey, we all do.

* * * QUESTIONS * * *

Introduction (1-5)

  1. (T or F) The best way to overcome a bad habit is to not let it become a habit in the first place.
  2. (T or F) It's easier to make bad habits than it is to break them.—Why?
  3. What is a habit? Are all habits bad? What do you have to do to break a bad habit? Are some habits harder than others to break?

4) What are some of your good habits? What bad habits do you want to kick or go on the attack against?

Parents & Teachers Aren't Perfect (6-16)

5) (T or F) If God only let perfect people be parents, you would never have been born, nor would anyone else!

6) (T or F) If God only let perfect people teach & train you, then you would be alone your whole life.

7) (T or F) Thinking negative thoughts about the faults & failings of the person correcting you & resisting the correction puts you in danger spiritually.—Why?

8) (T or F) You must have total victory over a problem to be able to help someone else with the same problem.

9) (T or F) It's okay to do bad things as long as you can prove your parents or other adults do too.

10) (T or F) A wise JETT or Teen will resist the urge to be critical of the people who correct him or her.

11) Considering the fact that you may be a parent yourself some day, aren't you thankful that the Lord doesn't expect you to be perfect before you can raise children?

12) Does Rom 8:28 still apply when others make mistakes that affect you?

You Can't Blame Your Failings on Your Leadership (17–23)

13) Is there any benefit in humbly accepting the blame for our failings & mistakes rather than trying to shift the blame to others?—Please explain.

14) Have you ever forsaken a ministry or job for the Lord because you just "pooped out" & gave up or refused to get a needed victory? Please explain. Do you think you were justified in giving up, or were you wrong? Can God get a victory out of defeat if you let Him?

Prayer for Techi (24-25)

15) (T or F) It's a real sign of maturity to accept correction by faith, even when you don't fully understand it.

Comforting Others (26-29)

16) Why does the Lord allow us to often go through a lot of "fiery trials"?

17) How does it help others when you are humbled by mistakes but get victories? Have you ever been able to comfort others with the comfort wherewith you were comforted? Please explain or give an example if you can.

18.) If you were perfect & never made any mistakes‚ do you think you would be much of a comfort to others? Why not?