The Gray Area’s
Tom wanted to play poker with his buddies. It was for .25 big blind only and he had the money to spare to cover the whole night easily. He did worry that it would cause him to go on a binge. But the last couple of times he played with them he had stayed away from destructive gambling. So he joined the game again. After playing for the night all he could think about was gambling.
Suddenly he realized that he had fallen 5 times in the last 2 months and that in 4 of the times he had played with his buddies shortly before falling. Denial had reared its ugly head again. He knew deep down inside that he would fall again if he kept playing even if it was low stakes.
If we live in gray area’s we will fall. Everyone will. All lifetime addicts live in gray area’s. They all have a steady stream of borderline things they do/watch which always steer them back to addiction. The food addict watches food network, the porn addict watches not quite porn movies, the drinker always picks his buddy up at the bar, the drug addict just needs to talk to someone about current prices and about how strong the designer drugs are, the gambler just wants to know how many points his team is giving.
We still believe our addiction is better than a dynamic time of prayer, than a great Bible study with our friends, than taking time reading the Word which straightens out our confused mind.
The Bible says that Jesus is the light because He is the light. The gray area’s suck. They are not dynamic like real Christianity is. They steal your purpose instead of leading you into purpose. They always lead to darkness which ends in destruction.
Church, Bible reading, prayer, Christian fellowship, Christian books – help you know the process that leads to living in the light. Attack the gray area’s with all your might. Then dedicate yourself to Christianity with all your might. You might be shocked not only at the power you have over your addiction, but also at the power you will start to have in prayer.
If you have a strong enough reason to quit your addiction you will succeed in quitting. To aid you through you high temptation periods you need a list of activities that you can do as a substitute for gambling. Idea’s include exercise, play a different game, spend time with friends and read something spiritual. Remember that growing spiritually is often helpful in fighting addiction.
Write out your own list of substitute activities.
During intense temptation have a list of coping statements. Something like – Gambling has caused me financial destruction, it has in the past and it will in the future if I don’t quit. Or, 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.
Use temptation situations as a way to work on problems. First of all identify what sequence of events lead up to you craving gambling? Your problem sequence may be that you get mad at your partner or family member. You are bored with life anyways and off you go.
You need to know the normal sequence of events that lead you to gambling.
In advance you need to have written idea’s of what you will do instead. Now when the severe temptation comes you can use it as an opportunity to work on these other problems.
For example; if anger is a trigger pray about that. What is your trigger? Pray and plan on how you can defuse it.
Continue to read the Purpose Driven Life.
If you are on track great; if not read the red ledders from day 5
Addiction is about wanting more. It is about searching for something to fill an empty place in our soul. Being Vibrant is about starting to find your purpose then being moderate in all things so that we can fulfill our purpose. Being Vibrant usually involves quitting something completely that keeps us from fulfilling our purpose.
To be vibrant we need to always remind our-self that the high that comes from things like drugs, drunkenness, sinful sexual acts etc always lead to a vast emptiness. When we instead turn aggressively from our addiction and just as aggressively pursue a joy filled relationship with Jesus Christ, the pursuit is filled with joy and challenges and the end is filled with success, joy and a new found purpose for living.
Write down what you need to do each day for the next 10 days to begin to make your life vibrant. Read what you have written down each day for the next 10 days.
Say no before you get to the crossroads of temptation. Say yes to having fullness of joy many times per day before severe temptation hits. (In Jesus presence is fullness of joy. Sin is not in His presence.) Try saying: I will turn aggressively from sin multiple times before the crossroads. Make your decision about what you will do long before temptation hits. Life can be great.
Get rid of the bad habit of gambling by praying to be filled with the Spirit. Pray as you go to sleep, pray when you wake up. Pray, “Father fill me with your love, fill me with your Spirit, help me to avoid sin, show me my purpose.”
Make helping gamblers one of your ministries. Pray for every person who visits this website. Pray that no one who ever visits this site will ever commit suicide. Pray that people will understand that it is sometimes a long process from them doing their own thing to opening up to God’s love and doing His thing. Pray that people will be saved.
Read John 13 and 1st Corinthians 13 and Proverbs 11
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Thank you for reading day 16 of this program designed to help you quit gambling.
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