Addictions are unhealthy coping behaviors that cannot be stopped without outside help. We are born sinners into a sinful world opposed by Satan. From these three sources of sin come pain and suffering. Many do not rely on God for help and try to escape suffering through unwise methods. Those methods may result in addictions.
Consider this trivial example: a shy teenaged boy wants to talk with a lovely adolescent girl. Every time he tries to muster the courage to approach her, he becomes intimidated and backs away. The boy’s friend observes his friend’s anxiety. He pulls his friend aside and offers him some whiskey. He says, “Drink it. You’ll feel get plenty of courage to talk to her.” The young man drinks and his anxiety disappears! He quickly engages the girl in a funny, witty, fascinating conversation. They have a great time! The whiskey worked. But, the boy never learned how to manage his fearfulness.
The next day, the girl sees him and, with a cute smile, tells him how much she enjoyed yesterday’s chat. But now the boy doesn’t have whiskey’s courage, so he fearfully mumbles something and runs off. He reflects that he needs a little whiskey to help him talk to girls. So he begins to carry around a small bottle to cure his anxiety. Thus begins an addiction.
The Bible teaches us healthy ways to grow through our anxieties. Instead of medicating our feelings, we are to address the root problem through prayer, study, and faith.
First, thank God for your tough experiences. Remember James 1:2-4 (NIV), “Consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Second, ask God for wisdom. Christians are in the school of Christ. God is teaching us through our trials. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt…” James 1:5,6, (NIV).
Finally, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand,” Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT). Believe this. By practicing these verses, you will grow closer to God and become more Christlike in character.
Don’t judge others when they are suffering from addictions. They do not simply need more will-power. They need educated, godly help. Addictions work very well to temporarily alleviate emotional pain. It’s a painful road to learn godly ways to grow through suffering.