How to Heal Addiction
Hope for the Hurting and Trapped
I have the right to do anything,” you say — but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” — but I will not be mastered by anything.
Addiction is a loaded word with many meanings. We tend to think of it as extreme, however, anyone can suffer from addiction, and it’s far more common than you think.
The World Health Organization tells us that worldwide, 6 million people die every year due to tobacco use, and 3.3 million die due to alcohol related causes.
Alcohol, drugs, and smoking have caused much misery for years. But now, we can add pornography, TV binge-watching, overeating, shopping, and video games. For instance, one woman in New Mexico, USA, was spending over 12 hours a day playing a multiplayer video game — and let her 3-year-old daughter starve to death. Clearly, our world needs to healed from addiction.
Even normal activities can harm us when taken to extremes. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:12, “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say — but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’ — but I will not be mastered by anything.” An addiction means we have let ourselves be “mastered” by something.
Perhaps other believers have told you to “Flee from youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22) or to “Resist the devil” (James 4:7). But addictions come with mental, emotional and physical components that together exert a much more powerful pull than a regular temptation.
Here are three things that can put you on the road to healing addiction...
1. Cry out to God
First things first — are you a follower of Christ? Even before asking for help with addiction, you must get right with God.
During a time of extreme trouble, David wrote: “I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies. The ropes of death entangled me; floods of destruction swept over me” (Psalm 18:3-4). God did not answer David until he had called on Him.
Start by acknowledging that you cannot conquer your addiction in your own strength. Jesus said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible” (Matthew 19:26).
2. Get Help from Others
When trapped in sin, our impulse is to isolate ourselves from other believers. This is what Satan wants as well! Spending time with caring believers and sharing your struggles is an important step in escaping it. Yes, it can be humbling, and even humiliating, but your Christian brothers and sisters can help you with prayer. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16). Also see Hebrews 10:24.
3. Cut it Off
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke of sexual temptation this way: “So if your eye — even your good eye — causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell” (Matthew 6:29).
Jesus was telling us that if any object or person consistently leads us to sin, we need to get that thing out of our lives. For example, if your friends want you to take drugs with them, you need to find some new friends. If you tend to look at women with lust, don’t go to the beach in summertime. If you can’t resist pornography on the Internet, you need to install filters on your computer — or get rid of the computer altogether.
If you have struggled with an addiction, please know that there is hope, and that the God who made the universe is ready to help deliver you when you cry out to him.
Pray this week:
Lord, I am tired of being mastered by addictions. Please show me the way out, and give me strength from Your Holy Spirit to go that way. Help me to help others who need this help as well.
Are you, or someone you know, struggling with an addiction? We want to pray for you and help you. Write to us today!