The first thing to do when confronting a habit or mindset that controls me is to face an unwelcome fact: I am responsible for being controlled, because at some point I gave in. If I am a slave to myself—to my habits and urges, my egotisms and selfishness—I am to blame, because I gave in to myself. Likewise, if I obey God, it’s because I’ve yielded myself to him.

We learn the truth of this in the most ridiculously small things. “I can give up that habit whenever I want,” you say. You cannot. Try it, and you will find that the habit absolutely dominates you. Give in to selfishness in childhood, and you will find it the most binding tyranny on earth. Yield for one second to any form of lust—to the thought “I must have this thing at once”—and you will be chained to that thing, even if you hate yourself for it.

No human power can break the bondage of a character that has been shaped by giving in. Only the power of the redemption is sufficient. You must yield yourself in utter humiliation to the only one who can set you free, the Lord Jesus Christ: “He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and … to set the oppressed free” (Luke 4:18). It is easy to sing “He can break every fetter” and still be living a life of obvious slavery to yourself. Only Jesus can break the chains, and only when you let him. Yield yourself to the Lord, and he will set you free.

Wisdom from Oswald

Re-state to yourself what you believe, then do away with as much of it as possible, and get back to the bedrock of the Cross of Christ.  My Utmost for His Highest, November 25, 848 R