All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. I Corinthians 6:12
Between health-care, lost work productivity, and crimes, addictions are costing America greatly. Drugabuse.com says that $295 billion is lost to Tobacco, $224 billion is lost to Alcohol, and $193 billion is lost to illicit Drugs. Yes, the numbers are in the billions. Look at the American culture and you will realize that many people are addicted to something. If you are not addicted to something; chances are, someone you know very well – is.
It could be an addiction to stimulants, such as drugs or other stimulants such as TV and mobile device screens. Some addictions are to fleshly and lustful things that are clearly sin. Some addictions are to things that many not even be sinful of themselves. For example, not all TV shows are bad. Drugs (medicine) can be prescribed and help a person heal.
Addictions are anything that becomes a controlling power in your life. It could be the next smoke, or vape. It could be the next tv program. It could be the lustful images on a screen. It could be an addiction of social acceptance and applause. Some people live for the approval of others and getting that approval causes a similar “high” as a reaction to a drug. Some kids are even addicted to video games. Paul was not willing to allow anything – whether a good thing or a sinful thing, be controlling of his life. While Christian liberty gives variety in living, it does not give the freedom to allow any substance, response, or desire to be the controlling factor in our life. The Christian is to be controlled by the Spirit of God as He directs in the Word of God.
Many are crying out for “help.” The way the cry is sounded is different in each case. Some drop hints. Others go further into their addiction. No matter what some “professionals” say, the Bible is clear that addictions do not need to control the Christian. You can have victory! It will be a challenge; but change is possible! Here are some steps to victory.
God’s Grace Teaches Us to Deny Worldly Lust. Titus 2:11-12 declares, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” To reject a sinful action, thought, or addition as wrong is a great place to start. Repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of choices and direction of living.
Godly Structure Helps When Tempted with Addictions. Psalm 119:133 states, “Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” Having a structured day with Biblical plans and goals will help you fend off the temptation to an addiction. Memorizing a Scripture that deals with your particular addiction then reciting that verse in “care free” moments will help you have victory. Order your steps with God and others being involved in your daily routines.
God’s Power is Greater. Notice how Paul says in I Corinthians 6:12, “I will not be brought under the power of any.” As powerful as the urge, drive, desire, lust, high, or hit may be, God is more powerful. Rely on Him. Your flesh is weak, but God is strong. Since we can only serve One Master, make the choice to not put any other master in front of the Lord. An addiction in a moment of fleshly or sinful temptation becomes another master. God is greater.
Ask the Lord for victory. Pray. Rely on His grace. Set parameters in your life with goals for living. Embrace the power of God to find the win over the addiction. While short and simple – these truths are a great start to overcoming addictions. Other helpful ideas are accountability to others, eliminating excess money (limit money to limit usage), and the replacement principle of exchanging right in the place of wrong.
Get some help from a pastor or Bible counselor today. May the Lord help you in your search for victory over addiction.