Updated: Aug 24
Why is it so hard to get over harmful addictions in life? For most people, it is hard getting over addictions because we enjoy the way they make us feel. In other words, we enjoy doing what we are addicted too... And the hardest type of addiction to get over is one that you enjoy doing! The problem for most people is that once you satisfy yourself, you go into a state of remorse in which the quilt, shame, and hurt, affects the heart and the mind because you know what you are addicted to is terrible for you. Addictions can cause so much stress in your life because you don't know how to overcome it on your own. You have violated your conscious and continued to fail yourself so much until you finally just give in to your failures because you believe you can't win...
This is unfortunate because whether you know it or not this is when the addiction has become master over your life!
Through the years, I have learned how to fight the giants (harmful addictions) in my life and that is by becoming greater than the giants in front of me. I have learned how to partner with The One (The Lord) who cannot lose and have become more than a conqueror through Him. Through prayer and focused meditation on God's Word, it helped me to grow and become greater than my harmful addictions...
Some say willpower alone can get you past your harmful addictions but if your issue is greater than you, it is greater than your personal willpower!
At this point, you must understand that you need help to overcome your harmful addictions! Your willpower alone has not been victorious, if so, you would have already overcome it. Now is when you must recognize you need extra support to help you overcome your personal giants.
1. You Must Determine If Your Harmful Addictions Is Bad For You Or Not!
You will never get rid of a harmful addiction if you think it is good or okay for you to do. This is scary when you truly think about it because if you enjoy the feeling and personal gain the addiction is providing for you, you welcome it, you don't want to stop doing it. This is probably why you're addicted to it in the first place. Sometimes people do not feel that harmful addictions such as smoking, drugs, or porn are bad for them, and because of this, they continue to do it without question.
Example: Using Drugs For Peace: I know folks that have a weed/drug-induced high in the morning because they say it relaxes them and gives them some peace. I would say that anything that negatively impairs your abilities, consciousness, and helps you not to be your best version of you is not good for you...
Just because something may be legal for you do does not mean that it is good for you!
(1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV) 'You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.'
So, you may gain a moment of peace by relying on your harmful addiction, but at what cost?
2. Seek The Real Thing - Not The Band-Aid
A lot of people look for a substitute for the real thing because they feel sometimes the real thing costs too much (or it is too hard to go after). In the example above, having INTERNAL PEACE is the real thing, gaining that peace through a form of drug is the band-aid (not the real thing).
Remember the real thing is the final solution to what you need and the substitute is the band-aid. One helps you to heal and the other thing just covers up the wound.
As a Christian pastor, I believe that there is NO substitute for having Jesus Christ in our lives...
The Word of God can teach us and help us to move past these harmful addictions in our lives!
The 'Word of God' and support groups are great in helping us to overcome the harmful addictions in our lives. A lot of the support groups that were founded a long time ago, were actually based on the 'Word of God'. The reason for this was, the creators of the support groups knew that you needed to fix the broken spirit and soul to truly be healed of something. Their findings were that most people could conquer their harmful addictions momentarily through willpower. They also recognized, without true internal healing, a lot of people returned to their harmful addictions and they were worse off than before.
3. Locate The True reason For Your Harmful Behavior!
What is your harmful behavior buying you (what personal gain is it giving you, what is it satisfying in your life?) Is it pleasure, peace, power, anger, blame, unforgiveness, or escape from reality?
Example: King Solomon and His Many Wives: Some teachers and scholars believe that King Soloman had a sex problem. Soloman had hundreds of wives and concubines. But the wives Soloman had also provided a false sense of security for him. Soloman married wives from different kingdoms as a way to secure his country's borders. Solomon tried to secure his kingdom through marriage instead of God.
When it comes to harmful addictions and behavior, you have to locate what personal gain you get from it. Why does your personal gain from doing wrong outweigh the sin (the harmful effects you receive from it)? In other words, you will sin and do wrong to receive the personal gain you experience, which unfortunately outweighs the potential harm to the entirety of your person...
Simply put, your perceived benefits outweigh the probable damage!
Example: Selling Drugs for Money: Do I make this money fast, with the possibility of being put in jail or killed, or do I take the right route and do what it takes to build a career that has the ability to support my family throughout my lifetime and possibly longer? You are weighing the benefits against the probable consequences!
All of us have to make decisions in our lives, my hope is for all us to live a healthy life, free from harmful addictions and bad behavior. With that being said, I know it all starts with making the right decisions and taking the right actions to get rid of our harmful addictions and negative behaviors. God is willing to help us overcome our giants but it is on us to take that first step in the right direction.