What Does God Say About Addiction?
Whether we are in recovery or not, we know that addiction is a bad thing. But what does God say about addiction? How does the Bible present the condition? What is the Christian response?
God’s Word on Addiction
Though the Bible never specifically uses the word, there is no shortage of biblical wisdom on addiction.
Addiction is often associated with idolatry, which God opposes strongly. God has commanded that we have no gods before Him. But as humans, we seek a substitute, whether it be in the form of a carved image of silver or gold, or a chemical fix. In any case, it is a misdirected dependence. We prefer to rely upon ourselves and our own “solutions” than upon the living God who asks for our allegiance and obedience.
The Bible also speaks of drunkenness as a lack of wisdom. God wants us to be people who are awake, alive, content and useful, not people who are wasting their lives in a stupor and investing their money and energy in pursuits that have no lasting value. God speaks against these behaviors not because He is a killjoy or because He doesn’t want His people to have fun, but because He has plans for us that are greater and richer than stumbling through life in a drunken haze. His promise to us is abundant life.
Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise. Proverbs 20:1
God also calls His people to be holy as He is holy. When we are drunk and engaging in other sinful behaviors, our hearts are not directed toward the Spirit, but rather toward the flesh. Little by little, we are pulled away from God and toward our own destruction. God, in His compassion, would try to save us from that. But many of us have rebelled.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:5-6
A Christian Response
The Bible instructs us in a life of moderation and wisdom. For some, there is the possibility of moderate alcohol consumption. But for those who have been alcoholics, sobriety may be the only way to live a life that honors God and avoids unnecessary temptation and sin. As Christians, we are taught that God loves us and wants what is best for us. As we learn to trust that, we become more willing to let go of the things that pull us away from God and our faith. Because in the end, anything that pulls us from God only pulls us toward our own destruction and unhappiness. As we get sober and begin to grow in the Spirit, we come into alignment with God’s will for us and His promises for our lives.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
If You Need Help
If you are a Christian struggling with addiction, there is hope for you. No matter how many times you have tried to get clean, you are not beyond help. In Christian drug rehab you’ll find the support and care you need to live the abundant, sober life God has for you.
Choose a better life. Choose recovery.