Breaking the Chain of Addiction

Broad_chain_closeup“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13

Introduction: I chewed tobacco for seven years of my life. At first, I enjoyed this drug because it offered me false security, pleasure, and relief from difficult circumstances. When I studied for an exam, I could put a chew in my mouth. After I ate dinner, I grabbed my can of Grizzly Wintergreen and chucked it in my mouth.

However, one day I realized my desire to chew spiraled to an addiction. I couldn’t handle not having it. It got so bad I would fall asleep with it in my mouth. While I talked to people, I concealed it in my mouth and swallowed it instead of spitting it in a bottle. Knowing the health risks and embarassing habit it was, I wanted to break this chain of addiction.

At first, I tried nicorette gum. It mimicked the feeling, but I missed the taste and experience of having dip in my mouth. I resorted to the patch, but that made me dizzy, upset my stomach, and it cost about $50 dollars! I had no choice but to quit cold Turkey. I was only a believer for about a year and underemphaized the power of God to destroy this addiction. After humbling myself, I prayed, asked God for help, and within a couple of days, I overcame the addiction. I have been free from this addiction for more than six years.

For me to say, “I can master all my power, revise my way of living, and defeat this common foe” is noble, but futile. A corpse could well say I will, with my own strength, rise out of this coffin and be a living being again. Of course, this is nonsense. You need a power outside yourself. For most people, it’s impossible to break the chains of addiction that are binding you apart from God. Only when you die to self, and allow Christ to transform you by His Spirit, are you able to live in victory over any form of addiction (Gal. 2:20).

Application: Whatever addiction is binding you, pray that God would erase your desire. Call on friends to keep you accountable. If necessary, flee from the addiction or the location that brings the most temptation. You can also get counseling at most churches. Make sure to find out whether the church teaches Biblical Counseling. For more information, you can visit the Association of Biblical Counselors.

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