HELP I’m Struggling with Addiction
“Once an addict, always an addict” is a phrase you often hear on the road to recovery explaining that even as you heal, you will always experience struggle. This phrase doesn’t seem very hopeful, but it has a ring of truth when you consider the nature of sin. Sin, like addiction, is often associated with being controlled or enslaved by something. Similarly, even though we have been saved by the blood of Christ, we are still sinners and have the potential for relapse. We usually associate addiction to substances like drugs and alcohol. However, if we see addiction through the lens of sin, we find we can become addicted to things like food, shopping, television, approval or even love.
At its core, addiction means there is something in your life that controls you.
- What makes you sad?
- What makes you angry?
- What makes you anxious?
Most likely, you use something to pacify these emotions, taking up your energy, time and finances. We as humans often struggle with placing our earthly desires over our desire for God. It is when our priorities are not centered on God that we enter into idolatry and addiction.
Addictions, come in all sizes, shapes, and forms. Addiction can be anything that leads you away from a healthy life. For some, it is alcohol, drugs, or gambling and for others it’s more subtle like toxic relationships, caffeine, tv, video games etc…
In my 20s, I developed a relationship with a girl that was intensely physical.It wasn’t long before I found that I was ruining myself emotionally, spiritually and even financially. I was not only addicted to the physicality and her approval, but the need to save her from her unhealthy behavior. Ours was a toxic relationship.
Addiction works in odd ways, clouding your mind, impairing your judgment and increasing your impulsivity. Now I can see how foolish I was in the relationship, but that’s how addiction works; at the time I had no self-control. With an addiction, we experience temporary satisfaction, but it always fades, leaving us broken and empty. The truth is that you can break the cycle of sin and addiction, but you cannot do it by yourself. First and foremost, true healing only comes through God’s love. You may change your behavior for a time, but without sanctification, there is no victory. Secondly, you must work alongside Christ by setting attainable goals. God is responsible for your transformation, but you must be proactive in making choices that honor God.
“Once an addict, always an addict” should go hand in hand with “once a sinner, always a sinner.” On our own, we will always be defined by sin, but when we are sanctified by Christ, our past washes away. Scripture says:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV)
Because of Christ, we don’t have to be defined by our past hang-ups or addictions. There will still be times that we struggle, but when we make a commitment to follow Christ, we have been acquitted. It is through Christ’s extraordinary sacrifice that we have been made guiltless.
The Journey Principles book offers a practical life-changing approach to healing, awareness, and restoral through your own personal journey.
In Your Service