Addiction

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Addiction: The act of applying or devoting (oneself) habitually; Addited suggests a pathological weakness; given suggests a tendency or usual practice. Both addicted and given may apply to good or bad things, but usually bad; addicted to alcohol, given to lying.

Devotion for Addiction

   There are many types of addictions; alcohol, drugs, sex, overeating, smoking, gossip, lying, the list goes on and on. Mankind is a creature of habit, but when habit becomes obsession and turns into an addiction, that’s when we get into trouble. I’m talking about temptations and behaviors that can ultimately destroy our bodies and even our relationships. How can we resist these temptations? What can we do? Where can we turn? Who can help us?

   God is a very present help in time of need, (Psalm 46:1). Let’s face it, resisting temptation is a difficult thing to do. However, it becomes a little easier when we stop listening to that little voice inside our head and focus our attention, instead, on God and his word. Speaking for myself, I can resist that doughnut easier, if there isn’t one in my kitchen. The real test comes when there is! Self-control is a fruit of God’s Spirit, imparted to us as believers. With the Holy Spirit’s help, it becomes easier to change the direction of my attention, from the doughnuts, to God and his desire for my life. After all, I shouldn’t deprive other family members, just because I have a problem with doughnuts! In my heart, I know that over eating isn’t good for me emotionally or physically. Shifting my attention to God, gives me that space of time to escape the temptation God has promised that with the temptation he would provide the way of escape (I Corinthians 10:13). We are also to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul (I Peter 2:11). We are in a battle, flesh against spirit. We need to offer our hearts, our desires and our wills daily to God asking him to give us the strength to break the bonds of addiction in our lives, whatever they may be, letting him win the battle for us. Jesus (the word of God who became flesh) is anointed with burden removing, yolk destroying power. Yes, God can help lighten the weight of our addictions and even remove them from our lives. Trusting God and seeking his help, is the highest form of faith and honor we can offer.

   Years ago, I was a smoker. I wouldn’t say that I was highly addicted, but I truly enjoyed smoking. I smoked less than a pack a day and wouldn’t have my first cigarette until noon. I had been smoking for about 5 years and really didn’t see a problem with it, and yes, I was a Christian. One day my 2 year old daughter brought my ashtray to me, with my burning cigarette in it. I was horrified and took it from her immediately. Of course, she thought she was being a good and helpful little girl. All I could see was how I had placed her in danger. That was my wake up call! I took all the cigarettes I had, my lighter and my cigarette case, threw them in the trash can and asked God to never let me touch another cigarette in my life. I know, you want to know how I did . . . Well, God did take away my desire for cigarettes for a little more than a year. I had no yearning, no craving or desire for the weeds!

   Then it happened . . . one summer evening I was sitting in our living room. The kids were outside playing, I had just finished the dishes and I was just relaxing with my feet up. The sun was casting shadows of the leaves dancing on my wall. Something hit me hard . . . I wanted a cigarette! Just like a robot, I got up, grabbed my purse and headed out the door. My oldest daughter asked me where I was going. I told her that I was going to get some cigarettes. The fact that she yelled at me “Don’t you even care that your lungs are going to turn black and you’re going to die?” didn’t even slow me down. I bought those cigarettes, drove home, sat down on my back porch step, lit that cigarette and….it was the most disgusting thing I ever tasted! I put the cigarette out and threw the rest of the pack away and no, I have never touched one again, thank you God!

   God has given man a free will and yes, we are free to do as we please, but when our actions and desires harm or even destroy our own bodies, our relationships and even society in general, we must pause for reflection. Addiction and bondage versus self-control and freedom . . . the choice is ours. Let us strive for the freedom that God and self-control gives us from addiction.

John 8:36  For those whom the Son has set free, are free indeed!

Matthew 11: 28-30  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Relating Scriptures:

James 3:2  We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.

I Corinthians 6:18-20  Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

Romans 13:12-14  The night is nearly over, the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.

Proverbs 23:19-21  Listen my son, and be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.

Galatians 5: 19-23  The acts of the sinful nature are obvious; sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness orgies and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is now law.

I Corinthians 6: 12  Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.

Romans 8:1  Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

I Peter 5: 8-11  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 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 and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen!

James 4:6-8  ….God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves, therefore, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw [near] to God, and he will draw [near] to you.

Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me.

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