Help! I'm Addicted

“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12).

It seems as though we have recovery programs for everything, including digital addiction. Recently, Liberty University, a Christian University, launched the Liberty Center for Digital Wellness. This department researches the negative effects of digital addiction and offers remedies. Surely addiction of this type is on the rise.

Very few people catch addiction in the early stages. It usually traps them first through curiosity and arousal, before claiming another victim. Fortunately, biblical principles do not change with the passing of another generation. Whatever gets thrown at us has already been addressed by the Word of God. Using the verse above, let’s chart a road of recovery.

1. Though the activity may seem harmless, it may not be helpful. 
Notice “all things are lawful.” In Paul’s day, some eating places offered up food to idols. Paul allowed for this since “an idol has no real existence” (1 Corinthians 8:4). Nevertheless, eating at these places could have a negative effect on someone new to the faith, or is easily tempted to idol worship. In that sense, such practices are not helpful.

2. We should avoid anything that enslaves us.
While acknowledging that “all things are lawful for me,” Paul “will not be dominated by anything.” In other words, if the practice of a certain liberty leads to addiction, he will avoid it. It may be lawful for some, but not for all. Whatever leads to addiction should be avoided.

Application

1. Be honest with yourself.
Not everyone struggles with lust, but some do. Not everyone struggles with greed, but many do. We can honestly say that those who claim to be free from all struggle, well, they need to face their own pride and possibly spiritual blindness. The point is to admit in transparency before God our own struggles.

2. Develop a life-strategy to avoid that sin.
Once we face up to our temptations, we need to follow a well-ordered plan to live in victory. Whatever else we include in this plan, it should adopt the following practices:

  • Regular Bible study and prayer.
  • Weekly attendance at worship services.
  • Developing friendships with believers who walk with God and who will encourage you.

Ask God for special strength and wisdom to guide you into victory. Remember, God provides the strength to perform whatever He requires of us (Philippians 4:13).

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