It is healthy to take a day off once a week. It is important to take a rest from work but in 2017 it is also important to take a day off from everything we do that adds stress to our lives.
We have talked about learning what negative emotions or behaviors lead back to addiction. Now it is helpful to understand how good activities “done in excess” also lead back to addiction. For example: we have a person (clean from gambling for 18 days) increasing their exercise program. This is highly recommended behavior. But if after 6 straight days of running 2 miles per day they run 3 miles on Sunday to really up the ante. Then they felt really charged up so they decide to do a little extra work to get ahead financially. But 45 minutes into the work their friend asks them if they still want to play a bit of pool. They say “just give me a few minutes and I will be done. An hour later they realize their buddy went out.
They next day our overachiever gets up feeling very tired. One mistake at work turns into two. When they get home they are hoping to get some support from their buddy. But 10 seconds into the phone call you realize they are still a bit miffed about being blown off yesterday.
This leads to losing enough money on Monday to make Tuesday just as bad a day as Monday was.
Let’s do a count of the # of staying clean commandments that were broken. #1 even though running is a great way to help stay clean. After 6 days (Okay for some of us after one day) resting for a day was in order. Commandment #2 broken – people are more important than fighting for a few extra dollars (if you have enough for basic necessities). Commandment #3 broken – stay moderate in all things even if they are good. Commandment #4 broken – God says take a day off. It is shocking how much easier it is to avoid addiction when we always do things Gods way.
Commandment #5 broken – call your sponsor or someone who can help you (or at least distract you for a while) when you know you are in trouble.
List your positive behaviors which you have done “in excess” in the past. Things like games, too much work, TV, Sports etc. We overdo because we don’t focus on moderation enough. We keep going because we are not content with our life. It is better to “be content” with a small house, an average job and a regular life than having a mansion, a high paying job and an attitude of “I have to fight to get more, more, more.” We also need to be content with the amount of pleasure we try to have today. Todays “extra” pleasure is tomorrow’s disaster. If we are not content with todays “moderate” pleasures” we will have destruction as well as less pleasures later in the week/month.
Pray every day – Father, take away my __________ and help me to be content.
Pray every day – Father, take away my __________ and help me to be moderate in all things.
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.
Practice humility. Pride is sometimes a key driver to gambling. You know you are better than those bad poker player you play. You always have a new system that is going to break the bank. Then you go broke again. Be humble. Dont ever tell yourself that you can figure out a system to get rich quick. The Bible says that pride goeth before a fall. So those of us who know we will break the bank have been prewarned that we will fall.
Proud people love boasting and self glorification. Other people don’t love it. Proud people pretend to be better than who they are. This habit hurts your attempts to fufill your purpose. Purpose driven people downplay their strengths and bend over backwords to treat people with love.
Proud people will not give up their will. Everyone wants you to change but if you do than you lose. But if you embrace love instead of pride you can start to succceed.
Pray over Scriptures that say, “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,”(1 Peter 5:5-6; see James 4:6-10). And, “He who is least among you all is the one who is great” (Luke 9:48; Mark 9:35; Matthew 20:26).
Pray for humility, pray that God will keep you from temptation, pray about sins that lead to gambling, pray about everything.
Read Matthew 17
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 26: Which prayers are answered quickly – which prayers time more time and persistence
Day 27: How to fill the vacuum that addiction caused
28: Finding a good church
29: Knowing why you can’t quit can help you plan how to quit
30: How to eliminate the vacuum created by quitting
31: Tripping your addiction trap. Overcoming sloth
32: You need clean people around you if you are going to stay clean
33: Use real math not gambling math
Day 34: Don’t condemn yourself
Day 35: Don’t test yourself to see if it is safe to gamble a little bit
Day 36: Knowing why you can’t quit can help you quit
Day 37: Do not chase pipe dreams
Day 38: Getting the anger out
Day 39: The vice of greed
Day 40: Specific planning helps break addiction
Day 41: Embrace the truth about gambling. Know your odds of hitting the big score.
Day 42: Quitting permanently
Day 43: Financial problems
44: Overcoming cravings
Day 45: The importance of helping others right now
Day 46: The devil is always campaigning for you
Day 47: Who or what do you worship
Day 48: Finding peace
Day 49: Be faithful in small things and God will promote you to bigger things
Day 50: Do something good for somebody