addiction

Addiction: Breaking the Chains of Bondage with God

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It all started when I was 12 years old, and someone handed me a beer. I ended up homeless and hopeless. Addiction is like quicksand. At first, it seems manageable, even fun, and you think you can quit at any time. You may not even be aware that you are addicted to something or someone. Common types of addiction are the better-known drugs, alcohol, sex, and gambling. There are lesser-known addictions as well such as social media (yes, your phone), food, and other people (codependency). Addiction is something that is ruling your life and is unmanageable.

I am not alone. Even the Apostle Paul had trouble with the bondage of sin as he proclaimed to the church of Rome, “For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate” (Romans 7:15). What Christian doesn’t struggle with the flesh and doing things they know are wrong?

You can live your life to the fullest without having to consume drugs or alcohol, playing video games, or living only for the purpose of another. Here are some pointers on how to overcome addiction through Jesus Christ and break the bondage of addiction.

You don’t have to live in pain and isolation.

Don’t Wait to Get Help (Matthew 7:7)

Once you admit that you have a problem, you also must realize that you can’t quit on your own. You don’t have to live in pain and isolation. God calls us to community with each other. Reach out to someone who can help. Do not give in to denial or minimization of your problem. Psalm 50:15 reminds us that God asks us to call on Him in our times of trouble.

Get an Accountability Partner (James 5:16)

Choose someone to help you beat your addiction that will speak life into you and draw you back to Christ. You don’t need to try sobriety alone. Allow them to call you out and get deep into your life. They may save it.

Remember that Addiction is a Spiritual Battle (Ephesians 6:12)

Feeling overwhelmed? No wonder; a spiritual war is going on, and you’re target number one. Don’t fear because there is hope in Jesus Christ, and He wants you sober more than you do. When you come out of addiction and give the glory to God, then your testimony will be a powerful assault against Satan.

Avoid Temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Pray before the storm comes. Flee from any place or person that may tempt you at all costs. Recognize your tendency to sin, and refocus your heart and mind with Scripture. Don’t haunt the same places you visited, and don’t keep the same “friends” that you had before. They are toxic. I would also recommend avoiding all social media.

Keep Busy (Proverbs 16:27)

Get to work! Exercise, eat healthily, and get a hobby. If you are busy, then the urges to relapse may gradually fade or not come at all. Keep moving. Activities like walking, painting, or even getting an animal may help rid your mind of temptation and cope with cravings. Be careful to not replace an innocent hobby or your work with another addiction.

Serve Others (Acts 20:35)

If your hands are outward serving others, then they cannot be inward focusing on you or your addiction. Find a way to give back. Locate your local Celebrate Recovery, food bank, or serve at church. Doing so will surround you with people as well as give you a positive attitude on life and sobriety.

Get a Relapse Plan (Joel 2:12-13)

Unfortunately, relapse is a part of recovery. This is not an excuse to relapse, however. Remember this may be your last “ride” in the park if you choose to get high or drunk. You can die. Avoid things that cause relapse such as “one won’t hurt,” physical discomfort, conflict, and especially social pressure. The important thing is that relapse does not mean that you are a failure. Call your sponsor or accountability partner. Confess and repent to God. When you sober up, look at what caused the relapse and make plans to avoid it next time. Restrengthen your commitment. Never give up!

Abide in God’s Love (Psalm 46:1)

We should all strive to seek the Father’s heart and abide in His love. There will be a time when you feel worthless, powerless, and unloved. God is our strength and shelter. God sees our faults and messiness and yet loves us for who we are anyway. Grow nearer to Him and be more like His Son, Jesus Christ, who lived a perfect life, die on a convict’s cross, was buried, and rose again on the third day. Repeat the Gospel to yourself daily and tell others. This is the primary reason that keeps me sober today. (Acts 20:24)

Contact a Christ-Based Rehab Facility (Proverbs 27:17)

Recovery can be a challenge alone; almost impossible. Commit to a Christ-centered rehab to work toward recovery with people who will give you support, encouragement, empathy, and discipleship. In my case, I gained more than just sobriety. I gained a family, a mentor, and a love of Jesus Christ. Here are a few that I have been a part of and are all dear to me. They are just a phone call or click away.

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Dereck L. Hood

Dereck L. Hood is a student and Campus Security Officer at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where he received his ADiv with honors and is currently pursuing his Pastoral Ministry degree with a minor in Business. Dereck is passionate about recovery ministries due to his past struggles with alcoholism, incarceration, and homelessness. He serves as co-Ministry Leader for Celebrate Recovery at Faith Baptist Church along with his wife, Amanda. They live in Wake Forest, NC.

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