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What Does The Bible Say Concerning Addiction And How To Overcome It?

Addictions become more powerful every time we fail to confront them. Each day, more individuals are enslaved or fall into bondage by a broad array of addictive substances, activities, and entertainment. In the world we live in, addictions may come in many forms, while the devil tries to mask temptation and addiction as if it is something to be celebrated. As Christians, we have the ability to overcome addiction. 

The word addiction simply means any sort of engagement that is habitual and compulsive. When it comes to understanding addiction, it is crucial that we assess it through the lens of the Bible.  

Based on the Bible

To begin our biblical consideration regarding addiction, we need to first recognize the much deeper problem – mankind’s fall and our consequent bondage to sin. After Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:6), every part of our nature became tainted and polluted by sin (Romans 5:12). All human beings became dead in their sins (Ephesians 2:1). When we were not yet believers in Christ, we were in bondage or slaves to sin. Addiction is a sin, and some people feel powerless to save themselves. People who are addicted to something follow sinful passions and fall deeper into their plight of shame. Regardless of whether the individual is addicted to drugs, sexual immoralities, or entertainment, he is still a slave to sin. 

Addiction is a form of idolatry. Human beings worship idols because we think that they will satisfy us. We get addicted to certain objects or habits because we believe that they make us happy. However, this is just spiritual darkness—a spiritual darkness blanketed by lies. It is a lie to say that a certain object or habit satisfies you. That is a product of the devil’s workshop. Unless we recognize and understand that addiction is of the devil, we will never think that it’s bad for us. Remember that Satan is a liar and that he speaks out his own character when he lies (John 8:44). But how do we fight the devil and overcome addiction? 

Steps to Overcoming Addiction

1.  Knowing Who Jesus Is

Jesus is full of love and He understands our struggles and weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15-16). Take note that God is love (1 John 4:8) and love does not rejoice in wrongdoing (1 Corinthians 13:6). If we know who Jesus is, then we also know the things we must do and the things we should avoid doing. Addiction is a wrongdoing, because it is a form of idolatry with real consequences. Do not be enslaved by anything except your love of Christ. If we truly love Jesus, then we need to hate the things that He hates and love the things that He loves. Remember that Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15). The love that is in Christ can set you free from the bondage of sin. Jesus not only satisfies your eyes, stomach, senses, and thoughts, but He also satisfies your soul. 

2. Renewing Your Mind 

Overcoming addiction is surely difficult and requires sacrifice. We are called to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice in this process. Although there is suffering and sacrifice involved in overcoming addiction, remember what Paul said to the Romans, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18). Let the Word of God cleanse you. Read it every day and replace your addictive thoughts with Bible verses. This should inspire you towards living a more holy, godly, and happy life. 

3. Praying for Healing 

Prayer should be a part of your life, regardless of your circumstances. Just as breathing is essential for us to maintain our physical well-being, prayer is critical to our soul. How many times did Jesus heal people through prayers? God can bring healing and He can set you free from the clutches of addiction. Remember what the Psalmist said, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1). Christ can give you all the strength you need to trounce addiction; simply make your request known to God.  

Communion with Christ is the best way for you to overcome addiction. Remember that Christ is sufficient and always takes good care of His sheep. He is our perfect High Priest who lives to intercede for us. Addiction is an enemy, but our King can help us subdue it. Do not forget that His provisions are far greater than our weaknesses. Addiction is a sin and we need to kill it as quickly as we can. As John Owen once said, “Be killing sin or it will be killing you.” This is only possible if we believe in the saving power of Jesus.

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