A Christianís approach to life situations part 21
The first thing I want to do is to define Addiction.
Based on these definitions, addiction can come from anything that we become obsessed with and canít stay away from. In this lesson we are going take a look at some of the things that people can get addicted to, what the Bible says about addiction and how we should handle it as Christians.
First, letís take a look at a couple of passages that show us some of the things that we can become addicted to.
2 Timothy 3:2 For men
will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers,
disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,†
3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control,
brutal, despisers of good,† 4
traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of
God,† 5 having a form of
godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
This is a general list of
sins that we as Christians are to avoid and we are stay away from those that
are living in these sins. Any person can become addicted to any of these sins
listed. Letís take a look at few of the sins.
Lovers of themselves, is
when a person loves themselves more than they do anyone else. Now, there is
nothing wrong with loving yourself, but when that becomes your primary focus,
then you are going to be addicted to yourself and this will take away from the
care and concern you should have for God and others. As we look as these sins
that we can get addicted to, you see that they all have one thing in common,
because when we become addicted to something, it will cause us to become
occupied with our addiction and take away time we could be using to serve God,
others or spending quality time with our loved ones.
Lovers of money, is a
problem that many have become addicted to. When a person gets addicted to money,
they will waste away all of their precious time trying to get more money. Some
do this by working 2 or 3 jobs just so they can have more money in their pockets
and more material possessions. Others will try gambling, hoping they will hit
big one day. Some will even steal from others to fulfill their need for money.
Those who are addicted to money will never be satisfied and they will want more
and more. No matter how they decide to fulfill their addiction, they will be
sacrificing important time that they could be using to serve God or others.
Slanders are people who
like to falsely accuse people of things to ruin their reputation. Some people
get a big kick out of doing things like this and once they get started one
person isnít enough. They will branch out and the accusations will become more
intense because one of problems with addiction is that you usually will
increase in one form or another what you are doing or else it will not satisfy
you. Even when is does satisfy you, itís only for moment because you feel like
you must do it again.
Lovers of pleasure, could
include any sinful act that brings you some type of pleasure. It easy to see
how someone can get addicted to this because if brings physical pleasure to
you, you will want to do it more and more even if it is harming your body or
your soul. †For instance, when a person
consumes alcohol it makes them feel good, but while they are feeling good, they
are doing damage to their brains, liver and other organs. If they start feeling
to good, they will be so drunk that they wont know what they are doing.
For example, I know a man
that was drunk and he fell off the second floor of a motel. Lucky for him he
landed in a good position, but really messed up his leg and broke his arm, and
he didnít even feel the pain or know what damage he did until the next day.
Smoking is another thing
that gives people pleasure because of the nicotine. Everyone knows that smoking
is bad for you and how it destroys your lung cells and turns them black. It
damages your throat, your gums and host of other things, but addiction to the
pleasure they bring, keeps some people puffing away and if they stop they feel
like there are going to die if they donít get another cigarette.
Other find great pleasure
in narcotics and they get so addicted to these things that they will do just
about anything to get some more. I have known drug addicts who would even steal
from their own parents to feed their addiction. Hard drugs can kill you fast
and they can do great damage to your body. For instance, just after two years
of using Meth, most will loose all their teeth. Strong drugs cause the worse
withdraw symptoms imaginable. It gets so bad that some have to be hospitalized
just to deal with it. As Christians we should avoid doing things that causes
harm to our bodies because our body is the
Sometime both men and
women get addicted to pornography, which is falls under the sin of the lust for
the flesh. This is another big problem in
So far I have focused in
on those thing that are sins or that do harm to your body, but there are many
things that we can be addicted to that are not bad within themselves, but if we
become obsessed with them, they can cause problems with our relationship to God
and our family as well.
For instances, watching
TV. Now, I am not saying that you should get rid of your TV because there is
nothing wrong with watching appropriate material. But, some people turn TV
watching into an addiction. I remember seeing a story about a lady who would
not leave her house because she didnít want to miss anything on the TV. She had
TV in every room of the house including the bathroom. So they finally bought her
a portable TV so she would go outside and not have to miss any TV. So, we can
get to point where TV becomes crippling. It amazing me how some can spend
countless hours watching it everyday, yet they canít seem to find time to read
one chapter from the Bible.
I had uncle that had the
ability to zone in on the TV and block everything else out. He had 4 children
and didnít pay any attention to them. Even if they talked to him, he didnít
hear them. Being starved for attention, they would stand between him and the TV
just to get a few words out his mouth which were usually, ďget out of the way
unless you want a spanking.Ē Again, this is how addiction to TV can be a bad
Any good thing can be
turned into a bad thing if you allow it cut you off from living a well rounded
life. I would even suggest that being addicted to serving others can become a
bad thing if you have a family. Obviously, we are taught in the Bible to serve
one another, but if we become obsessed with it and that is all that we focus in
on then we end up robbing our family of precession time that could have been
spent with them. The Bible gives us many commands to follow. We are no supposed
to take a one or two of them and make them into a hobby horse. Instead, we are
to give all of Godís commands equal treatment.
I heard them talking on
the radio about a denomination preacher who became so addicted to serving his
congregation and those in it that he was neglecting his family at home. His
daughter was the one that called in and she was crying because she wanted to
know what she could do to convince her dad that his love and time was needed at
home as well.
Now, I could keep on
naming more things that we can become addicted all night long, but these
examples are enough to show that addiction is not a good thing because it
becomes an obsession that we cannot live without and it robs God of our service
and it robs our family of our time. So, must do our best to stay away from
addictions as Christians. First, we need to be able to recognize if we are
becoming addicted to something. Paul gives us this advice,
Romans 6:14 For sin
shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under
grace.† 15 What then?
Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!† 16 Do you not know that to whom
you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey,
whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to
righteousness?† 17 But God be
thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the
heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.† 18 And having been set free from
sin, you became slaves of righteousness.†
19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of
your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of
uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so
now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.
In this chapter, Paul is
pointing out that those who obeyed the gospel and have been baptized into
Christ, have made themselves servants or slaves of God. Before they obeyed that
form of doctrine found in the New Testament these Romans had been slaves of sin
and the devil was their master. From this principle, we can determine if we are
addicted to something, if we can see that we are a slave to it.
In order to do this we
have to test ourselves by asking ourselves some questions about things we are
These are some good
questions that we can ask ourselves to determine if we have a problem with
addiction. One of the first steps to be able overcome an addiction is to
recognize that you have one. The sooner you figure it out the better because
the longer the addiction continues the harder it will be to overcome. This idea
of testing yourself is clearly laid in the Bible. Paul says,
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine
yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you
not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? -- unless indeed you are
Paul practiced what he
preached because he tested himself daily as part of his self-discipline.
1 Corinthians 9:26 Therefore
I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the
air.† 27 But I discipline my
body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others,
I myself should become disqualified.
This exactly what we must do as Christians. We must learn† to recognize when we are allowing an addiction to ruin our life and to put our soul in jeopardy. The best way to nip in the bud is by learning self-control and perseverance. These are just two of the Christians virtues that Peter talks about in,
2 Peter 1:5 But
also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to
virtue knowledge,† 6 to
knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance
godliness,† 7 to godliness
brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.† 8 For if these things are yours
and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge
of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Notice if we keep adding
these things the Peter has listed here along with self-control and perseverance,
then we will be prepared to keep addiction from taking over our lives.
However, sometimes we
mess up, and before we know it, we have an addiction that is getting out of
control. We need to realize that we are not going to be able to fix addiction
in one or two days because its going to take some time to overcome it. But, as
Christians we are in luck because there a several things that we can do with
Godís help to help us overcome even the worse addiction.
1. We need remember that when we were baptized into Christ that our old self
died and we are now a new creature and because of this we can get help from God
through the power of prayer.
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest
who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted
as we are, yet without sin.† 16
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy
and find grace to help in time of need.
If you want help with self-control so that you can defeat you addiction and
get your priorities straight, then approach the throne of grace boldly in
prayer †to God knowing that He will help
you in your battle.
2. As I have already stated, we need to keep in mind that overcoming an
addition doesnít happen over night, this is why Peter told us we must continue
to add to our faith self-control. This means that we may slip back into our
addition from time to time as we try and battle it, but what is important is
that we donít give up and that we continue to try and improve to exercise self-control
in our life.
3. We need to try and spend our time around those who can influence and
encourage us to exercise self-control instead of hanging around those who tempt
us to lose it.
Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will
be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.
4. Another thing that will help us to maintain self-control and encourage
us to stay away from our addiction† is by
reading and studying Godís word.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by
inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for
correction, for instruction in righteousness,†
17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped
for every good work.
2 Peter 1:3 ††as His divine power has given to us all
things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him
who called us by glory and virtue, You see everything we need to know on how to
exercise self-control can be found in Godís word.
These verses teach us that everything that we need to know about overcoming
addiction and maintaining self-control can be found in the Word of God. So pick
up your Bibleís on daily basis and use its powerful message to help you declare
victory over your addiction.†
5. Finally, is important that we focus on keeping our thoughts on
Proverbs 23:7 †For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
2 Corinthians 10:5 †bringing every thought into captivity to the
obedience of Christ,
If we put these things into practice that we have covered in this lesson, there
isnít a sin or an addiction that we canít overcome with Godís help.
I hope this lesson has shown you that addiction to anything can be bad when
it takes away from living a well balanced life that will allow you to
effectively serve God, others and your family. We learned that we must test
ourselves sometimes daily to make sure that we are not becoming an addict or
living in sin. I gave you several questions to help you determine this. Then
finally, I gave you 5 things that will help you overcome addiction in your