Addiction usually begins when we are tempted by something. The bible says that temptations in our lives are trials to test our faith in God, they are challenges that many of us face daily. Addiction is defined as “not having control over doing, taking or using something to the point where it could be harmful. It is the REPEATED involvement with an activity or substance, despite the substantial harm it causes after the initial pleasure or value has ended.
Many of us are fully aware of drug addicts and alcoholics, but addiction comes in many more forms including; gaming, exercise, shopping, pornography, cleaning and more. According to the charity Action on Addiction 1 in 3 people are addicted to something and most cases are linked to mental health problems. Addiction usually starts as a way of coping with feelings, in other words, hiding those feelings. We become addicted because our “coping mechanisms” positively affect the way we feel physically and emotionally. We return for more as we feel the urge to experience the “high” of what we are tempted by. Sharing our personal temptations and addictions with others is a way of creating a support network, not to stop our addictions but to catch us when we fall.
1 John 1:7 “but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His son cleanses us from ALL sin”.
Yes, we can quite surprisingly, sin against ourselves. Remember; Addiction is something that will be detrimental to our health. So how can we rise above addiction and re-take control of our lives?
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor the drunkards no slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you WERE. But… (and here is the Good News!) you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus”.
Addiction is difficult to overcome, even for the strongest people. Temptation will be there in front of us, even behind us and next to us and we must trust in God and have faith in Him.
1 Corinthians 10: 13-14 “No temptation has overcome you, except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will NOT let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But, when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it”.
When we become addicted to something, we find ourselves surrounded by other addicts; the biggest temptation as we may think “well if they are doing the same as me, we can’t be addicts, we are just enjoying the same thing”.
1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be misled, bad company corrupts good character”.
Addiction can have huge implications on your spiritual self, you will find yourself saying and doing things that you would never imagine before you became addicted. So, surround yourself with positive, faithful people who will lift you up not hold you down, but more importantly, surround yourself with Him.
Psalm 50:15 “And call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honour me”.
Our Father in heaven loves nothing more than to hear His children cry out to Him. Remember when you were a small child, count how many times you will have run, crying to your parents because they were your safety, your comforters, your providers. God is beyond all of that, He will never let you down, He understands all that you are going through.
Hebrews 4:15-16 “For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet He did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”.
God will never reject you as your friends and family will, even in your darkest moments when you feel and behave in a wretched way, He will still love you with all His heart.
Matthew, 26: 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Speaking with God is a dialogue, not a monologue. If you believe in that, open your spiritual ears and when you cry out to Him, He will answer. Leave everything at the altar; at His feet and he will give you peace in your heart and make a way for you, but…make sure you are listening. Overcoming difficulties in life, including addiction, leaves us feeling lost, hopeless and even questioning the existence of God. But have you considered what life would be like if we never experienced darkness and everything was just simple? We wouldn’t know what happiness and peace felt like if we had not experienced sadness and insecurity.
Romans 5:3-5 “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance (builds) character; character (creates) hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
The Holy Spirit lives inside each one of us filling us with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; everything we need to overcome addiction. So, it’s time to Rise and Shine!
1 Peter, 5:10 “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you STRONG, FIRM AND STEADFAST”.