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Operation: Conquer Addiction

Being passionate can be a good thing. However, allowing our passion to consume us can cross over into having negative effects on our lives--this is called “addiction.”

Addiction is not just about substance abuse, it is a general term used for doing things in excess. It could be drugs, alcohol, smoking, computer games, food, excessive shopping, immoral acts, and others that may have a negative impact on our lives.

Here are some basic things that may help us get through addiction or addictive behavior. (Please note that while the spiritual aspect is important, it is also good to consult a doctor if medical attention is necessary to address the issue).

1. Accountability

It can help to know we are not alone in our battle.The Lord knows all of our weaknesses and victory is at hand for those who come to Jesus and seek His help. The Lord may use people to aid us in getting through our struggles. Look around you to see if there is someone you can trust and who is mature enough to understand what you are going through to guide you and provide support along the way.

2. Alternatives

Another practical tip to help overcome addiction is to try a new hobby. This may help to occupy your time and energy constructively. It could help you divert your attention from your usual routine.

It may also be wise to keep away from the things that may temp you towards the addictive behavior you are trying to change.

Pray and ask God to help you with these things. He does not expect you to do it on your own. Part of being successful in the Christian life is admitting our weakness and allowing God’s strength to come and help us.

3. Aim High

Finally, we can try and fix our eyes on what is eternal (Colossians 3:2) and not the temporary pleasure of our addiction. This may not be easy, but the more we deprive ourselves of our urges, the more they will gradually die within us to the point of not being a struggle anymore.

Romans 12: 2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to experience what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Transformation starts by renewing our minds about how we will spend our time each day. It is really very practical. As we make these daily decisions, we will be transformed by the Holy Spirit, one step at a time.

Whatever you are going through, know that God is in the business of changing lives for the better. As you bring your struggle to Him, trust He will help you do what is needed to help you change. The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it (1 Thess 5:24)!

Join us for worship, prayer, and reflection in Union Church of Manila, an international and intergenerational Christian church in Makati. Visit www.unionchurch.ph and learn more about its vibrant ministries and community.