What Does the Bible Say About Addictions?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, April 9, 2018 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Addictions are a prominent topic in today’s world. When you hear the word “addiction,” you probably immediately think of drug addiction, smoking, alcohol addiction, or things like that. But there are many other addictions that could grab ahold of our lives - we could be addicted to our phones, junk food, attention from other people, or all sorts of things. Addiction is part of our sinful human nature, and it is very much a fleshly desire.

The Bible does not address addiction specifically, but it does address temptation, and addiction is one form of temptation. We know that sin and evil come from the devil (1 John 2:16), but we have the power to resist temptation through the submission of our lives to God (James 4:7).

Galatians 5:16 says, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” If we’re truly and fully walking in the ways of God’s Spirit, we won’t have the desire to gratify what the flesh wants. But while we live in this world, our natural tendency is to fulfill our own desires. It takes a stronger faith and trust in God to turn away from that kind of temptation.

Ephesians 5:18 tells us, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” We can make choices in life whether to put ourselves into a potentially addictive situation or not. We can choose the addiction, or instead we can choose to be filled with God’s Spirit.

Romans 6:6-7 says, “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” We are set free from our sin in Christ and we are no longer slaves to it. Through Christ, we have the power to break any addiction we have in our lives.

1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “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.” We know we will be tempted, because that is part of living in this world. But with God, we will have a way to get out of that temptation if we make the right choice.

Psalm 50:15 encourages us to, “Call on me [God] in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” We know that God will ultimately deliver us when we call on Him and desire to live our lives to give Him honor and glory.

Are you sensing a theme yet? We will have sin and addictions in this world, but God is bigger and more powerful than them. We could very easily let this get us down, knowing that while we’re in this world we’ll have to constantly face temptations and potentially addictions. But instead, we should have a different attitude:

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).

But, all this is generally easier said than done. As Jesus told His disciples while they were waiting for Him as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane before His crucifixion, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41). We need to be on guard for any kind of temptation, especially addictions: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Take a look at your life this week and see what addictions you may be struggling with. Pray to God and work on deepening your relationship with Him, so that you will have His power to fight those addictions.

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