Wednesday, June 8, 2016

How to Overcome Addiction

Little do we know that there all kinds of addictions that rule our lives in big and small ways. Addiction isn't limited to substances, taboo'ed activities, nor pure moral failure. Addiction is about how we attach ourselves to reward cycles that are destructive over time.

Oftentimes, as I am often prone to do, we try to overcome addiction negatively. That is, we try to cut out the things we no longer want to do because we become aware of their self-sabotaging effect. But the problem is that, once hooked, we end up wanting the very things that hurt us more than we want to end it. Therefore, attempts simply to cut out addiction simply will not work. First, the desire is too strong, and secondly we won't know how to deal with the void that is left.

The way to tackle addiction is to proactively partake in positive activities in such a way that there is no room for the addictive activities. I think one of the primary reasons why groups like AA are successful is that they replace the time the addicts would imbibe in drink with meetings that are positive and restorative. If alcoholics meeting during the time in which they're most vulnerable to drinking, they will be much less likely to relapse. Without a better way forward, one cannot escape the status quo.

Perhaps this is why the writer of Hebrews says this:

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)

If the community of Christ, the church, ceases to make time and space for each other to stir one another up in love and good works, there can only creep up voids in which addictions that stir the opposite of love.

For those who are in Christ, we are saved people. We have been delivered out of darkness into his glorious light. Let us live in the light, in fellowship with God and with one another. Where there is light, darkness cannot abide. Let us replace addiction with what is better - the love of God in Jesus Christ, manifested in the community of the church. There, we will find healing and freedom. Amen.

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