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Addiction is defined according to wiktionary as “a compulsive engagement in a rewarding behaviour, despite negative consequences” or a “habit that jeopardizes or shortens one’s life but when ceased causes trauma”. Addictions are habits formed over time. They do not happen suddenly; in a day or week. It is a result of indulging in harmful behaviour regularly. It is important to state that Christians can become addicted and it is possible to overcome addiction with God.
Addiction is not limited to a particular gender or age group. Different people from different demography can become addicted to different things. One of the challenges of addiction is that; people tend to continue the negative habit even when the results are harmful. It becomes difficult to halt this habit.
In this article, we’ll go through different types of addiction, signs of addiction and tips to overcome addiction.
Don’t you know that those doing such things have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who live immoral lives, who are idol worshipers, adulterers or homosexuals—will have no share in his Kingdom. Neither will thieves or greedy people, drunkards, slanderers, or robbers. There was a time when some of you were just like that but now your sins are washed away, and you are set apart for God; and he has accepted you because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you.1 Corinthians 6: 9-11
Various Types of Addictions
Addictions can be categorised into different types based on the pattern or cause of the addiction. The types of addiction include;
Behavioural addiction I a type of addiction formed by the constant practice of a particular habit or behaviour which eventually becomes problematic and defines a person’s thoughts.
Examples of behavioural addictions include;
- Gambling: Gamblers find it difficult to stop. They are willing to stake all they have into gambling. Most gamblers either rely on luck or the possibility of outsmarting others. Gambling is even easier these days because of technology.
- Pornography and sexual addiction: these have become a menace in society and the younger generation seems to be more involved.
- Gadget and Social Media: technology is a blessing and a curse when the desire for technology isn’t well managed.
- Plastic Surgery addictions: This is a less common addiction but it is very dangerous and can be life-threatening. Many times people become addicted to plastic surgery because of body shaming.
Substance addiction is a very common addiction. It is usually characterised by the use of different legal and illegal substances in an abusive way. Drugs harm a person’s behaviour, habits, relationships and choices. Drugs and Substance abuse is one of the leading causes of mental illnesses.
Power and Wealth Addiction
The Bible admonishes us to prosper and be financially independent. We serve a God who is all-powerful and sufficient in himself. God wants u to have these things to serve others and not out of greed.
People often become addicted to power or wealth and they become a narcissist. They tend to subdue others to their will and force their rule on others. The craving for lust and power can lead people to do unthinkable things. In the part of the world where I live people do occult things to get wealth and influence.
Healthy competition is good but can become destructive when there is no boundary an individual cannot cross for power and wealth.
Signs and Symptoms of Addiction
- Poor performance at work, school, etc.
- Loss of energy and motivation
- Spending excessively on the cause of addiction
- Personality changes and drastic mood swings.
- Some addictions cause a lack of concern for personal hygiene
- Addictions like gambling, sexual addictions, and drug or substance abuse cause financial problems.
- Withdrawal from friends, family and relationships.
Steps to Overcoming Addictions
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”– Matthew 11:28-30
- Acknowledge you need help. The first step to breaking free from any form of addiction is to acknowledge you need help. No matter how much love you receive from people, you cannot truly break free unless you accept that your addiction is a challenge that needs to be fixed.
then if my people will humble themselves and pray, and search for me, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear them from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.2 Chronicles 7:14
- Take a stand: You must make a firm decision to stop the habits that have trapped you. Taking a firm decision to drop addiction helps your brain understand that you want to stop these harmful habits. It doesn’t mean you’ll stop this habit immediately but it shows your willingness to stop.
O Israel, if you will truly return to me and absolutely discard your idols, and if you will swear by me alone, the living God, and begin to live good, honest, clean lives, then you will be a testimony to the nations of the world, and they will come to me and glorify my name.Jerimiah 4:1-2
- Expose the addiction: sin thrives in secret, sin committed in secret is enjoyable and satisfying but the end is destruction and death. Seek help and expose the sin of addiction. Talk to someone who can help you and seek medical attention if need be. Have an accountability partner who can call you to order and confront you but never judge you.
A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.Proverbs 28: 13
- Flee all appearances of evil: separate yourself from anything that can lead you to addiction. A relapse can be very fatal. If this means changing your friends and circle, please do! Surround yourself with people who will cheer you on and encourage you on the new path you have chosen. It is very important.
A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.1 Thessalonians 5:22
- Fill your mind with godly content. Meditate on the word of God, have regular quiet time and do things that will boost your mental health.
And now, brothers, as I close this letter, let me say this one more thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.Philippian 4:8
In conclusion, it is important to note that a Christian can be bound by addiction. It is cancer that has crept into the church and we all must help those who have fallen. Addictions can be overcome by the power of God; there is freedom and deliverance in Christ.