Addictions have many causes, mental, physical, and spiritual as well as many others. But for hardcore long term addiction the spiritual aspect is sometimes the dominant factor. Having said that, keep in mind that if you have a long term problem you need to consistently try everything that you can in every way to try to quit.
In this session we will start with the spiritual then see how it relates to everything else. So we will start out with a prayer. The prayer is “Father, help me to care only about quitting my addiction”. Obviously when we pray help me to care only we are not excluding caring about things like family or responsibilities, we are merely trying to exclude things that may lead back to addiction.
Example #1 We have a smoker clean for 5 days now. He has been reading a book on controlling his emotions because he knows that when things go bad he always needs to smoke. On Sunday he wakes up highly determined to stay clean. He goes to church, after he gets home he reads his book and even underlines the parts he wants to think about later in the day and meditate on. Very strong indeed. Then his wife starts to nag him about their finances. He immediately blows up and gives her a long thorough piece of his mind. I don’t need to tell you how this story ends. But I will, up in smoke.
When we pray Father, help me to care only about quitting my addiction, we are directly asking God to help us pause before blowing up. We are asking Him to make us realize how important it is to fight to control our emotions. Our partner or boss wants to start a fight but we now care only about quitting our addiction. Instead of blowing up we calmly give a short explanation and leave the room. If your boss or husband insists on ragging at you, plan a short well rehearsed speech that will diffuse the situation. When they keep coming at you give them a well rehearsed puzzled look which will say to them, what is wrong with you. Then just stop talking.
Example #2 We have a hardcore user, now clean for 9 days is called by a buddy who invites him to a sports event. The second he is invited he knows all his buddies who use will be there. But what is the harm they won’t be using (much) at the event. He goes and the very next day he is in full swing on a drug binge, the type that has almost always ended with him being broken in the past.
In this example he fully cared about quitting his addiction but he also badly wanted to go have fun. And let’s be honest when we are disciplined and schedule an alternative event it will not always be quite as much fun. But if he had cared only about quitting his addiction he would have turned down the first offer where he knew he would fall into severe temptation and he would have found something else to do. He might be doing something only 70% as fun that Friday night, but he could keep his joy for the whole week and he could have his life back.
Example #3 We have the hardcore drinker/smoker. Clean for 6 days now she is in the mood for a good movie. She loves her HBO and likes to rent movies often. She starts to watch a movie and notices that there is a major theme of smut and partying going on. Well, she is not going to give up that quickly for a movie that she paid good money for. After the movie ends she can’t get to the liquor store fast enough. The next morning she wakes up realizes she started smoking again and wonders who she is with and where she is.
Sin often leads to addiction. Out of control entertainment or excessive drinking leads back to smoking. For movie watching, wait for the movies to be on TV instead of paying for them. It is much easier to change the channel on a freebie. You have instant clean options with regular TV. If you drink ask someone to help you have an exact stopping point. Don’t get drunk – almost no one can quit smoking when they are drunk.
Make it a goal to be clean in all ways. Even when you stay clean from your addiction, if your mind is filled with dark evil things you will never find real joy. When we pray Father, help me to care only about quitting my addiction, we are directly asking God to show us if your drinking or your this, or our that, are leading us directly back to our addiction. This is exactly the type of prayer that God answers. He wants us to be clean, filled with light and be fighting to get the darkness (sin) out.
Let’s continue to watch people who quit to see how they did it. Joy focused on reading books that will help her control her emotions and the things that are out of control in her life.
Get books, articles, advice and add them to your journal. Underline key points of advice and review that advice often until it becomes a habitual part of your life.
Ty is making it a habit to tell himself to turn away aggressively from thoughts of smoking 5 times every day. For busy people we should say it 5 times per day, for others we need to say it every hour. To turn away aggressively means to turn away instantly from any emotions, situations, temptations, wrong people or anything else that may trip us up.
Every day Tom worked at analyzing what he was doing that leads him back to smoking. Over time he started to really understand how his mind and emotions played tricks on him. This knowledge gave him more skills on how to fight his addiction.
God has unfailing love for us. Every day I will add another verse that talks about His unfailing love.
Psalm 21:7 – For the king trusts in the LORD; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken.
I need your help. My new book “What The Bible Says About Addiction” is available for sale on Amazon. If you want a copy please purchase one and leave a good review. This book along with this course will help you change twice as fast. Writing a good review is your way of helping the next person. When you are busy helping the next person, you are starting to think the right way. Click here to access it.
Staying stuck in addiction is usually accompanied by a habit of: “I have to have short term pleasure at any cost.” To fight this attitude pray: Father: take away my love of pleasure and fill me with a Spirit of toughness. A Spirit of toughness leads to God’s joy because we are saying that we will stop doing the wrong things. We will instead be tough and switch to an activity that we only sort of like. But it is an activity which avoids destruction and leads to long term joy and a chance to find our purpose.
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Read Matthew 3 and First Corinthans 3
Continue to read the Purpose Driven Life
Day 1 Overcoming cravings
Day 2 Why can’t you quit
Day 3 Start a Journal
Day 4 Overcoming negative emotions
Day 5 You can’t increase your pleasure for the month by smoking