Some of you are so addicted to gambling that you need to take drastic action. You need to cancel all credit cards and give all of your extra money to someone you trust. Have your bank set up an account so that you need a cosigner on all checks. If you cant stop going to a casino, check if they have a program where you can ban yourself from entering. You can talk to security, have them take your picture and you sign a no gambling contract with the Casino. Ask online venues how you can ban them as well.
God has things for you to do. But can He count on you? Did you help out at the shelter or Church a few times and then quit? Is chasing money more important to you than people? Of course not. But many need change in this area.
Focus on a goal of Spiritual growth:
We increase spiritually by producing the fruit of the spirit in your life. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23.) Love is affection, good will or benevolence toward others. Joy is gladness both received and shared with others. Peace is tranquility, harmony and concord. Long-suffering is patience or endurance. Gentleness is goodness and kindness. Goodness is uprightness of heart and life. Faith is the conviction of the truths we hold. Meekness is gentleness or mildness. Self-control is temperance. As the fruit of the Spirit increases in life spiritual growth is taking root.
The focus on lost souls allows Spiritual growth. Let no one around you say, “No one cared for my soul.” The Psalmist said, “Look on my right hand and see, For there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul.” (Psalm 142:4.) Pray for the Lord to use you in being a soul winner. God’s plan for evangelism is simple. One who has learned the truth must share Christ to others.
Increase growth spiritually by developing Christlikeness. Think about the Cross. What does it mean for you to take up your cross daily. Christians must have the mind of Christ and follow His example. (Philippians 2:5; I Peter 2:21.) The moon reflects the light of the sun. Christians reflect the light and likeness of God’s Son. Every day strive to increase your standards.
Spiritual growth cuts temptation to fall in half. Focus on increase.
Negative emotions lead to relapse.
Which emotions lead you to gamble
Write out what coping skill you will use when you feel each emotion that causes you to relapse. For example if anger is a problem say. When I get angry and am tempted to gamble I will read “Battlefield of the mind” by Joyce Meyer. Or say, when I am bored and tempted to gamble I will call Bill or play chess.
If you don’t have a list of 6 or 8 activities to do when tempted to gamble you should do that today.
If your addiction is severe you should practice these coping skills with a group or with your counselor. If you are on your own practice twice a day for the next three days saying “if I am tempted to gamble because of being down after getting angry I will _________________ (read Battlefield of the Mind). Give specific coping solutions based on the emotions that get you the most.
You must take instant action when you see a warning sign that gambling temptation is coming. If you don’t you will fall.
David Quackenbush said the following:
“Today we will look at “Temperance”.
There are times when our conduct is quite exemplary and other times when it can be deplorable. At times we are exemplify the epitomy of control and at other times we are like erupting vulcano’s.
1. TEMPERANCE DEFINED
The dictionary refers to it as:
1. moderation or self-restraint in action, statement, etc.; self-control.
2. habitual moderation in the indulgence of a natural appetite or passion.
It is true that Temperance means self-control. It is control over the whole man (spirit, soul, and body) which enables us to live a victorious life. As 1Cor. 9:25 implies And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things.
Ned H. Holmgren said “Temperance means the abstinence from all that is evil, and the moderate use of all that is good.” (www.sermoncentral.com)
Discipline and temperance can often look very much a like but they do not necessarily produce the same end results. For instance two men walking by a book store in the airport both notice pornography books on the shelf. The first man says to himself, I shouldn’t look at that stuff. It’s wrong. So while he feels the strong pull of his carnal man he steels himself and continues walking away.
Now the second man he sees the same books and immediately feels a prick in his heart. He feels the old man’s desire but his heart responds with, ‘I don’t want to go there, I love the Lord and not only is this not be good for me, but it will break God’s heart.’
The first man and the second man both walk away and by appearances they have the same result. But did they. The first man is merely using his will, but the second man used not only his will but the “love for God”
2. Maturity Dictates Temperance
So too in our spiritual life. If we are to mature in Christ, then it necessitates that we become more “Self-controlled.” By self- control I mean the controlling of “self” by submission to the Spirit of God. How then can you or I develop this “Temperance” in our lives.
If you want to develop the fruit of self-control, you have to do a couple of things:
1. Stop believing the lie! The lie that giving up that which will bring temperance in your life will be too painful.
(1) “M. Scott Peck writes in his book “The Road Less Traveled: “I spent much of my ninth summer on a bicycle. About a mile from our house the road went down a steep hill and turned sharply at the bottom. Coasting down the hill one morning, I felt my gathering speed to be ecstatic. To give up this ecstasy by applying brakes seemed an absurd self-punishment. So I resolved to simultaneously retain my speed and negotiate the corner. My ecstasy ended seconds later when I was propelled a dozen feet off the road into the woods. I was badly scratched and bleeding, and the front wheel of my new bike was twisted beyond use from its impact against a tree. I had been unwilling to suffer the pain of giving up my ecstatic speed in the interest of maintaining my balance around the corner. I learned, however, that the loss of balance is ultimately more painful than the giving up required to maintain balance.”
2. You must honestly answer these questions:
A. What am I a slave to?
• Food? Lust? Power? Money? The Past? Drugs? Alcohol? Gambling? Jealousy? Anger? You fill in the blank?
• Unless we are prepared to be honest with ourself and acknowledge areas in our lives where we do not have this kind of “Spirit Control” then we will remain enslaved
B. What do I have to say “no” to right now?
• In order to be free there are somethings we need to say no to
• Some things need to be removed from our lives
• The abstinence of all evil as Ned Holmgren put it
• Paul says all things are lawful, but not all things are expedient
• Sometimes we need to say no to things that are not necessarily evil in themselves in order that we may say yes to the things that are best
C. What do I have to say “yes” to right now?
• The Spirit’s promptings are not just about removing things from our lives
• It is also about saying yes to the right things
o Like attending church or bible study regularly
o Like reading your bible daily
o Like prayer
o Like attending mid-week home groups
o Like tithing
o Like serving
o You fill in the blank… what do you need to say yes to…
3. Then we need to confess them to the Lord and ask for forgiveness and help in light of these questions.
God is waiting eagerly to respond with new strength to each little act of self-control, small disciplines of prayer, feeble searching after him. And his children shall be filled if they will only hunger and thirst after what he offers.”
Read 1 Corinthians 5
Pray: Jesus help me to be excited about the changes I am making and help me to be patient with them so I can do things your way and live an abundant life.
10. Checklist for avoiding relapse: Develop positive addictions. Exercise every day, pray every day, read the Bible every day, help others every day, fight to find your purpose every day, turn aggressively from smut and gambling every day, determine to treat people with love and respect every day, become more disciplined every day, develop more expertise in moderation every day, fight covetousness every day, learn how to love and worship God more every day. Develop positive addictions.
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
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