Don’t give in to rationalizations. The physical and mental pain of addiction withdrawal is real, and you’ll likely start telling yourself it’s ok to take up the habit again. Don’t listen to the voice telling you to start back up. Don’t give up on yourself when it starts to feel hard. Every bit of pain will be worth it in the end.
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.
Imagine that your ultimate goal, as you understand yourself, is to serve others. You believe that serving others will give you the best happiness you can imagine. This goal is related to your value that human life is more important than anything else you can think of. In order to serve others, you will need to have something of value to them. Based on your natural talents, suppose that you decide to become a teacher. In order to become a good teacher, one who truly can serve others, you will need a variety of good habits. These good habits will assure that your preparation to become a teacher and your efforts as a teacher will be effective.”
What goals and habits can you develop to help to use up the time vacuum created by quitting drugs/drinking?
What person can you watch who lives in a way that you would like to live? If you live exactly like this person would it be your path to give up drinking or drugs easily?
How can you arrange to spend more time talking to that person?
What routine can you start that will help you fight addiction. Such as reading a page or two each day of a quitting addiction book. Or getting involved in your church or helping with your favorite charity.
Youth is a time when our passions are strongest. Death seems far away, and to enjoy ourselves in this life sometimes seems to be everything. Many people over time place pleasure on a pedestal. Time would not permit me to tell you all the fruits this love of pleasure produces, and all the ways in which it may harm you. All things that give a feeling of excitement for the time, all things that drown thought and keep the mind in a constant whirl, and all things that please the senses and delight the flesh, these are the sort of things that have mighty power over your life. They owe their power to the love of pleasure. There is no surer way to get a seared conscience and a hard heart toward the things of God than to give way to the desires of the flesh and mind.
Every day we need to pray that we will increase our love of people and caring about how we can learn to be a soul winner instead of a lover of pleasure. Pleasure is great when it is not sinful, when it is done in the right way, at the right time. The ultimate pleasure for me is to see a sinner set free from their bondage and to see then now helping other people. Seek this first, then seek clean pleasure and you will be amazed at how the simple things in life will give you pleasure and how you will start to find fullness of joy in your life.
Continue to read the Purpose Driven Life
Be content. Get rid of the more, more, more, attitude that the self wants. Pray to be content with the simple things in life. Memorize this statement: A person in right standing with God, who is content, has everything.
Here are the details about what to do to overcome temptation.
Say this morning noon and night: “This temptation will go away if I don’t act on it. If I give in it will return and it may be even stronger next time. If I don’t give in it will go away and someday it will go away for good. I have the self control to change”.
Pray: Father give me wisdom to know what to say and do so that I can help other people. Pray: Father help people to be delivered from addiction and to be saved today.”
If you were to ask yourself, “what am I obsessed with?” What would your answer be? Name 3 or 4 things you are obsessed with. 1____________, 2____________, 3____________, 4___________.
There are hundreds if not thousands of things you can become obsessed with. We as humans are designed this way and I would argue that God has made us this way on purpose. God has created us for Himself and we can choose to become obsessed with God.
Our culture has taught us to become obsessed with our own wants and desires. But this is not what God wanted. A Quote from Oswald Chambers (from Utmost for His Highest,)
“The psalmist says that we are to be obsessed by God. The abiding awareness of the Christian life is to be God Himself, not just thoughts about Him. The total being of our life inside and out is to be absolutely obsessed by the presence of God. A child’s awareness is so absorbed in his mother that although he is not consciously thinking of her, when a problem arises, the abiding relationship is that with the mother. In that same way, we are to “live and move and have our being” in God (Acts 17:28), looking at everything in relation to Him, because our abiding awareness of Him continually pushes itself to the forefront of our lives.”
Imagine Jamie, a 21 year old girl who is obsessed with the approval of others. She is a very attractive girl who notices the stares of guys as she walks by. She becomes obsessed with trying to get noticed and will stop at nothing to do this. Her pride motivates her to dress seductively and wear the tight blouses and short skirts. Jamie goes to a party and is noticed by a few guys but she is constantly looking at the other girls who seem to have the whole package and feels like she is falling short. She becomes obsessed with her image and begins to shop more for the right outfit, spend more time in the bathroom on her appearance, and throw herself at any guy that will give her attention. She goes to parties, hooks up with a guy she doesn’t even know and sleeps with Him. She feels on top of the world…in the moment. Every day she is becoming more physically attractive but by the end of the night she feels empty, used, and dirty. She is constantly wanting more but doesn’t know how to fill this void in her heart. She is obsessed with herself and her own desire to become fairest of them all and the closer she gets to this goal, the emptier her life feels. Jamie is depressed, and hates herself for who she is becoming. When she sleeps with a new guy at night she feels loved, but the minute it’s over she can hardly stand who she has become. Jamie’s problem is that she has become obsessed with not only physical pleasure but the approval of others and it is ruining her life. You can choose to become obsessed with 100 different things but they all will leave you wanting more. The only obsession that will leave you fully satisfied is Jesus Christ. Matthew 13:44-45: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” If Jamie came to know Christ she would soon realize that her empty lifestyle was full of sin and darkness. She would see that truly knowing Christ is far better than anything this world could give her. In the Bible God actually commands us to love Him and worship Him with our lives. But why would a loving God force us to do this. This idea comes from the book Crazy love by Francis Chan, that God actually threatens us with punishment and Hell if we do not begin a relationship with Him. Does that sound very loving to you? Well…yes, and I’ll tell you why. If God is truly the greatest good on this earth, wouldn’t it be loving of Him to draw us near to Him. If God did not do this, we could accuse Him of not loving us because God is the greatest source of life and peace.
There are one hundred paths you can choose to go down and hundreds of things to become addicted to. We are all going to become obsessed with something. We all desire and crave different things, but what will you become obsessed with or whom will you become obsessed with? John 17:3: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” If you become obsessed with Jesus, your other obsessions will slowly fade in comparison to truly knowing Jesus!
Read John 20, 2nd Corintians 4 and Proverbs 18
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Thankyou for reading Day 23 of our drinking and drugs program.
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Day one: How to overcome cravings
Day two: Would believing in a higher power be good for you?
Day three: Quitting addiction exercises
Day four: Does God answer pray?
Day five: Starting to understand that we can’t increase our pleasure for the whole month by going back to our addiction
Day six: Planning our day to keep addiction temptation to a minimum
Day seven: We find liberty (or start to find liberty) from addiction when we find Jesus
Day eight: First fruit of the Spirit
Day nine: Benefits of worshipping God
Day ten: Getting rid of negative emotions and overcoming cravings
Day 11: How to be blessed by God and self control
Day 12: Have a list of coping statements
Day 13: How to have living water so that you will never thirst again. How to become a christian.
Day 14: Adam and Eve show us what we do that causes things to go wrong
Day 15: Consequenses of doing wrong
Day 16: Self control
Day 17: What leads back to using and self control
Day 18: How to pray to fight addiction
Day 19: Can we get our prayers answered?
Day 20: Overcoming relationship problems
Day 21: Finding a church that can help you
Day 22: Overcoming addiction exercises