Addictions

Have you or someone close to you ever battled with addictions? Probably so. They are very pervasive and very easy to slide into. Webster defines addictions “to give oneself up to a strong habit.” Some addictions on the surface seem rather harmless such as; needing my cup of coffee, spending excessive time on the computer, at work or in the gym. While other addictions are much more obvious in their detrimental effects such as sexual addictions, drug and alcohol addictions, or immoral, unedifying relationships.

God wants us to experience pleasure and gratification from healthy habits. But to be controlled by anything or anyone other than Him is unhealthy. “Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” I Cor. 6:12

How can we draw the line and experience freedom from unhealthy addictions? In observing lives and families ripped apart from addictions, I often see two areas that can make one more vulnerable or susceptible to addictions.

1. Feeling weak in important situations: A husband living in another area became disillusioned with his marriage and his inability to change his wife and situation. He ended up throwing himself into training and competing in marathons. The physical progress he experienced gave him a sense of accomplishment and power.

To feel powerless is disheartening because we are unable to achieve what seems so important and we feel poorly about ourselves. No one esteems a weak person, especially when I’m the one who’s weak. Habits that produce results, even if they are temporary and harmful, are enticing and addictive because they make something happen.

God wants me to be powerful. [1] Yet His power is reserved for doing His will. When I do His will, trusting the Holy Spirit to empower me, and trust Him for the areas I can’t change, then I will experience His gratifying supernatural power.

2. Forgetting to be thankful: Being thankful is vital for a strong healthy life. Ingratitude, on the other hand, weakens our faith in God, setting us up for harmful habits that distract and soothe. [2] A number of years ago I worked with a couple where the wife became addicted to the company of a man who treated her in the special way her workaholic husband failed to. It became evident that the focus of her life was her husband’s failures, not the many blessings God had given her. As she dwelt on his failures, she became angry and depressed and found escape through the attention of another.

Her husband had truly wronged her, but she didn’t have to be a victim controlled by her hurt. A thankful heart is a strong heart which creates contentment and godliness [3] removing the need for “feel good,” distracting experiences that are harmful and addictive. I pray that your family and ours will have Godly power and thankful hearts so we can live full, productive lives for Him, free from addictions.

Praise:

* For the families healing from very difficult situations.
* For those who’ve started walking with God in response to hard times.
* For financial supporters that enable us to help those who couldn’t afford counseling.

Pray:

* For our spiritual, emotional, and physical vitality.
* For those in our growth groups to grow in wisdom and faith.
* For those coming out of different addictions to become free.

Blessings,
Larry

Footnotes:
[1] II Peter 1:3, 4; Philippians 4:13
[2] Romans 1:21-25; Philippians 4:6-9
[3] I Timothy 6:6

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