Robert Perkinson from the Gambling Addiction Client Workbook says to memorize this statement. “If I continue to gamble I will lose everything”. Say twice every day of your life, “If I continue to gamble I will lose everything.
It is good to notice how the simple things in life are better when you avoid addiction. Yesterday I enjoyed sitting around talking to my wife. Cutting the grass was a nice relaxing experience. I watched and enjoyed sports on TV. I was not being driven by addiction. My whole day was better because of that.
Having said that, I love thrills. Yesterday I found a very exciting game to play which satisfied my thrill seeking nature. Instead of gambling for thrills you may want to try skydiving, hang gliding, auto racing, boxing, scuba diving, flying, platform diving, sailplaning, bungee jumping, skiing, ski jumping, wilderness adventure, river rafting, rock climbing or games that do not involve gambling.
Thomas Horvath in his book Sex, Drugs, Gambling and Chocolate said the following: “Addiction can be thought of as a bad habit. If you eliminate this bad habit, you will be creating a vacuum, an empty spot in your life. Nature abhors a vacuum. If you do not fill this vacuum with something new (like a good habit, a positive addiction), there is a significant risk that the addiction will return. For instance, if you end all you friendships because all your friends are gamblers, but do not develop new friendships, you will get lonely. As your loneliness increases, it will be increasingly easy to go back to your old friends. Any repeated action or activity that serves your ultimate goals and values is a good habit. I suggested earlier that by living in accordance with your ultimate goals and values, you increase the chances for being happy.
What vacuum have you created by your goal to quit gambling?
You need a 3 pronged plan to fill this vacuum. Write out your plan of how you will fill this vacuum today, this week and this month.
If you are a Christian memorize 2nd Corinthians 3:17 – Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
Dont let sin ruin your life. When you let sin in, the Spirit of the Lord leaves. The Bible says we should work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
The sense in which we are to work out our salvation in fear and trembling is twofold. First, the Greek verb rendered “work out” means “to continually work to bring something to completion or fruition.” We do this by actively pursuing obedience in the process of sanctification, which Paul explains further in the next chapter of Philippians. He describes himself as “straining” and “pressing on” toward the goal of Christlikeness (Philippians 3:13-14). The “trembling” he experiences is the attitude Christians are to have in pursuing this goal—a healthy fear of offending God through disobedience and an awe and respect for His majesty and holiness. Obedience and submission to the God we revere and respect is our “reasonable service” (Romans 12:1-2) and brings great joy. Psalm 2:11 sums it up perfectly: “Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling.” We work out our salvation by going to the very source of our salvation—the Word of God—wherein we renew our hearts and minds (Romans 12:1-2), coming into His presence with a spirit of reverence and awe.
When we repent of our sin the Spirit of the Lord returns. However Hebrews 10 makes it clear that we can run out of chances.
Read Proverbs 25
Continue to read the Purpose Driven Life
Pray “Father keep me from temptation”.
Back in the 80’s there was a game show. If you got enough points you got to choose one of 3 doors to open. One door often had something like 500 cans of sardines. The next door might have 150 live chickens. The next door would have a $10,000 prize or a new car.
Addiction is a bit like this. We have 3 doors. Behind the first 2 doors are satan’s temptations. Behind the 3rd door are the things which lead to light and joy. We often have cracked open satan’s door #1 with our past habitual sin. Sin gives satan certain rights to harass us. This 40 day program is all about techniques to start to close that door. But door #2 we have complete control of. But we often crack it open because we want to be in charge and do borderline sinful stuff.
Since we want to be Christians we also open door #3. But if door 1 and 2 are wide open we often don’t feel much when we open door #3. We often see very few answers to prayer if the 1st and 2nd doors are open.
Door 1 is often hard to shut. If you have been drinking or looking at porn as often as possible for 15 years – it is going to take some work to slam that door shut. But door # 2 is your decision now. You choose whether to watch a show that talks about the point spread when u have a gambling problem, you choose whether you sit around discussing the good old party days when you are trying to dry out, you choose to watch a movie that is only fairly smutty when porn has put up a wall between you and Christ in the past.
Circumstances seem to drive us back to addiction but that is only rarely the case. But circumstances combined with you holding door #2 wide open will certainly make temptation very tough.
Will God really give you joy if you slam door #2 Shut? Ask Him. Discuss it with Him.
You only do what you do because it is “what you do.” Do you exaggerate the pleasure door #2 offers? Do you focus on the joy door # 3 offers you when you slam the other doors shut? Most of you agree by now that doing things God’s way increases your joy.
What habit can you start today that will help you slam door #2 shut and help you do things God’s way habitually?
26 Paul Hudson wrote a great article about what things people with passion do. I have added 4 of his idea’s which are great for overcoming addiction here:
“Passions give us purpose, but more than that, they make us feel that we have purpose in our lives. Being passionate isn’t just about knowing – it’s also about feeling. That’s what makes passions so important; they make us feel that we’re on the right path in life and give us hope for a happy and exciting future. Passionate people lead significantly different lives from their less-than-enthusiastic counterparts.
They’re basically obsessed – hopefully in a healthy manner. Healthy passions are healthy obsessions. You can’t keep your mind from returning to the topic and can’t help but get excited by those thoughts. Passionate people live in a world in which the few things that matter to them in life basically involve the passions they love.
If you’re passionate, you have a clear understanding of what your purpose in life is – if only your purpose for that very moment. For this reason, you give much less importance to other things. Therefore you’re willing to risk more for the thing(s) that you find most important, that you are most passionate about. Those that are passionate are much more willing to give up things that don’t fall in their scope of passion.
Life is filled with things worth doing and things not worth doing. That which we are most passionate about is what we believe to be worthwhile, everything else seems to be wasteful and lacking. Passionate individuals gradually gravitate towards their passions and away from the rest that life has to offer. They know what will make them happy and are willing to ignore the rest.
Their minds are always looking ahead, looking at what can be instead of what is. This has its good sides and bad, but nevertheless, they are always thinking about their next move.
The one great outcome is that they always have something to look forward to and are excited to make it happen. As long as they remember to hang around in the present from time to time, they don’t run into too much trouble.”
Wes MCAdams gave a great sermon on passion:
“Romans 12:9-11 says, “Let love be without hypocrisy Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.”
That is a passage full of passion and excitement words. Words like abhor, cling, devoted, diligence, and fervent. I see at least four things in this passage about which every one of us should be excited!
Let’s commit ourselves to not being lukewarm! Let’s commit ourselves to giving everything we have! Let’s commit ourselves to being passionate in our Christianity!”
Passion is a key to quitting addiction. Have a passion for your work. If you don’t currently have a job it is important to have a passion for helping others or for working for your church or charity. If your job stinks have a passion for working hard and doing your job for the glory of God. Have a passion for your hobbies and activities. Just going through the motions leads to boredom which leads to depression which leads to addiction. I play golf with plastic balls in my backyard. This year I am not improving – that makes it less fun – less of a good distraction from addiction. Today I am going to start improving my passion, watching golf videos, upping my effort. Do I care if I am ever good at golf? I really don’t. I do it for a bit of exercise (having a passion for exercise is vital – it makes you tougher and it makes you feel better). And do it as a distraction from unhealthy things.
Have a passion for reading the Bible. It is a fact that people who read 5 chapters of the Bible every day have a lower chance of going back to their addiction (read as many as you can). It is also likely true that people who have a passion for reading great Christian books have a lower chance as well.
Spend 5 minutes thinking about what you need to have more of a passion for.
Fulfill your purpose – do something to help. Pray “Father, bring people to this website and give them a chance to overcome addiction, find your love, start to find their purpose and to start to find joy again.
Read John 24, 2nd Corinthians 8 and Proverbs 22
Day one: Quitting addiction exercises
Day two: It is important to admit you are powerless
Day 3: Learn the right way to live
Day 4: Getting rid of negative emotions
Day 5: Remember – money lost is not yours. Don’t try to get it back or you will lose more.
Day 6: can you increase your pleasure by gambling?
Day 7: Staying clean in all ways helps you quit the addiction
Day 8: Decide what pain and pleasure you want
Day 9: Analyze what leads you back to your addiction
Day 10: Change your emotions and your mindsets. Stop believing that your big score will come in.
Day 11: Where the Spirit of the Lord is – there is liberty
Day 12: Learn how to worship God. Also try to develop positive addictions.
Day 13: Write out a letter saying why you want to quit
Day 14: Overcoming cravings and negative emotions
Day 15: You have some self control
Day 16: Have a list of coping statements. Have a list of substitute activities.
Day 17: How to find living water that will always satisfy you
Day 18: Do not have faulty beliefs abourt gambling odds
Day 19: Interview with a professional poker player
Day 20: What we can learn from Adam and Eve’s mistakes
Day 21: more great stuff from Adam and Eve’s mistakes
Day 22: Self control
Day 23: What to think about to develop self control
Day 24: What are your values?
Day 25: How to pray to fight addiction
Day 26: Which prayers are answered quickly – which prayers time more time and persistence