It starts little by little, a short moment of fun develops a craving for more. That yearning births a habit, the habit becomes an addiction. Pornography, Drinking, Drug abuse, Over-reliance on technology. Whatever action it may be, addiction is idolatry because these pleasures tend to take the place of God. Whether we choose to admit it or not, most of us struggle with addictions that are challenging to break.

Often times, it seems these addictions are etched into the core of our being. And breaking these addictions would be tantamount to breaking away from our very self. A lot of people claim to hate the very things they are addicted to. But yet cannot put a stop to the things their actions. Do we have the power to overcome our addictions or are we forever imprisoned in their cages? The sinful nature of our flesh is always battling us, but we have the means to conquer it. Let’s look at ways we can be set free from our addictions:

Submit to God

James 4:7,” Submit yourselves to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you”. Our addictions are temptations from the devil. He goads us into acting on our fleshly desires. The devil cannot be resisted unless you submit your life to God. The first step to breaking any addiction is to make Jesus Christ the lord of your life. Making Jesus the lord of your life goes beyond reciting the sinners’ prayer.

It means desiring and making a deliberate effort to walk like Christ did and to be like him. Jesus Christ never sinned but he was tempted with all manner of temptations. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way just as we yet still do not sin”(Hebrews 4:15)

Understand that he doesn’t condemn you

It is understandable that for some of us submitting to God seems impossible. Because we know how much he hates our sinful actions and addictions. We must understand however that God is full of love. Though he hates our sins he does not hate us. In Hebrews 4:15: He empathizes with our weakness and He wants us to come to him just as we are so that he will transform us.

One thing that hinders us from breaking away from addiction is self-condemnation. We begin to think that we cannot get relief from our problems because we are filthy being unworthy of love. The truth is Christ died for us even in our sinful state and he is calling us unto ourselves to get healed and be freed from the demons that afflict us.

He is loving God who understands your pains and struggles and he is waiting for you with arms wide open. “Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Do not be isolated

When struggling with addictions, it is easy to think that you’re alone in the fight. Many people feel ashamed of their habits tom the extent that it becomes their darkest secrets whiles guilt reigns in their conscience everyday. Speaking to the right people about your addiction is an important step to breaking it.

As Christian, we need to be part of a local bible believing church. Being part of a community of saints provides the avenue to talk to church leaders who can support us in our battle against addiction, through prayer teaching and counseling. There are many leaders in the church who have once struggled with our addictions and would be in the best position to give us practical advice, provide emotional support and pray for us.

“Therefore make it your habit to confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous person is powerful and effective”(James 5:16). As the aforementioned scripture says telling one another about our struggles brings us healing when we pray for one another concerning the addictions we may have. Therefore seeking help from Christian leaders is a biblical way of fighting addiction because they have been equipped with the spirit of God to help them.

Eschew bad company

“Do not be misled, bad company corrupts good character”,(1 Corinthians 15:33). Fleeing from bad company isn’t limited to people who influence you to continue in your addiction. Bad company involves media like television programs, websites, music, ads etc. that perpetuate such behaviour and may trigger you addiction. Staying close to things that trigger your addiction would stifle any progress you may have made in your quest to break away from it. So it is important and essential in your fight against addiction to stay away from all things and people that have the potential to trigger it.

Renew your mind

“Do not conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect”,(Romans 12:2). Your mind/soul consists of your intellect will and emotions. Your mind is the seat of your personality. The battle with our addiction occurs in our minds and in order to win this fight we need to renew our minds.

You renew your mind by changing what your mind feeds on. The word of God is the best tool and catalyst to change your mental state. Constantly studying and meditating on the word of the lord would eventually influence our way of thinking. It replaces any thought in our mind that influences us to pursue our addictions.

Finally brethren whatever is true, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise think about these things”,(Philippians 4:8)