Monday, August 12, 2013

Addictions and Bad Habits

I want to talk to you about addictions and bad habits. I am not just talking about being addicted to alcohol or drugs, because addictions can include the TV, work, sex, gossip, etc. If you are going to be addicted to something shouldn't you be addicted to Christ? I mean that's a good addiction isn't it?

Addictions start out as a something new to try. After a while, it becomes a habit (or something you do not think about but just do). Once you find yourself in this position, you are addicted to what you are doing.  Let's define the word addition.
addiction (noun): “The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or or involved in something.” (Retrieved from, Feb 22, 2006)
There were multiple definitions out there, but I really liked this one. Now let's look to the Word of God for an example of habits and what they can cause.
1 Timothy 5:11-13    "(11)As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. (12)Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge.  (13)Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to." (NIV)
In the example above, Paul is speaking on how to deal with young widows. Before verse 11, he states that no woman younger than 60 may be placed on the widows list. Why? Well he explains in verses 11-13. The reason is because they let their "sensual desires" take priority over their "dedication to Christ". In addition to this, the younger widows form a "habit" of being idle and becoming "gossips and busybodies". There is an addiction in that one passage and it is not to Christ. It is an addiction to things that would keep someone from Christ.

Like I said earlier, the TV can be your addiction. If you cannot sit quietly and feel the need for the TV then it's your addiction. Or, if you come home and your first notion is to go for the remote well that may be something that you need to address. Maybe the first thing you do is run to the computer and check Facebook or email. Well, that is something you may want to identify, accept that these are bad habits and change them. If we can work to replace the things that occupy our time away from Christ, we can begin to live a more victorious Christian life. Why? This is because you would begin to spend more time with Christ. If we are looking towards God instead of gossiping, you can begin to break the habit of gossip.

Well how can you break addictions? In Ephesians 4:22-24, Paul gives us a starting place:
"(22)You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; (23)to be made new in the attitude of your minds; (24)and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." (NIV)
In addition we can look at Chronicles and Psalm as well.

1 Chronicles 16:11   "Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always."

Psalm 34:1   "I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips."

If we can learn to identify our habits we can change them. Remember that acceptance is the first step. If you cannot accept the fact that you have an addiction or bad habit, you will never move forward with changing it. Bad habits do not change over night. It is a gradual process, however, if you slowly begin to replace these activities with more Godly activities, you will see how the habit slowly goes away. Remember that no two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time.

Antoine E. Hall

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." - James 1:22

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