Wednesday, July 17, 2024

What Does The Bible Say About Addiction

Recovering Is Your Responsibility And The Responsibility Of The Community

What Does the Bible Say About Addiction?

We are all brothers and sisters under God, and the Bible is very clear about the fact that when one of us strays, we must all stop to help that person back on their feet. Your church, community, friends, and family will not abandon you as you try to move forward and to recover, because you are their family and they are as obligated to help you recover as you are to recover.

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Bear ye one anothers burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6:1-2

Your community will offer support, and if they do not, they are not good Christians.

Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him

Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death and shall hide a multitude of sins. James 5:19-20

Every one of us has the obligation to reach out and to help those in need, whether by offering support, helping people into rehab, or involving them in the community so that they can recover.

The Bible has a lot to say about recovery, about coming back to God, and about casting away sin and turning to a righteous path. Seeking out recovery and addiction treatment is the first step to doing so, the first step to finding a better way, and the first step to finding God and building a new life for yourself.

Ministering To Those Struggling With Addiction

The human heart desires to know God through a loving, personal relationship with Christ. Our addictions often represent an effort to meet the need for love, significance, and security that only God can meet. Many people seek to meet these needs through unhealthy dependencies on people, things, or activities.

Meeting the need for unconditional love: God created you to have a loving, personal relationship with him. I have love you with an everlasting love I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Meeting the need for significance: God created you to find your significance in a relationship with him. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lords, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.

Meeting the need for security: God created you to be secure in his relationship with you. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid do not be discouraged.

Change always takes time. Breaking an addiction is not a quick or easy task. Remember, God is with you every step of the way to help you break an addictive behavior and establish a new habit.

Do not fear, for I am with you do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Substance Abuse Leads To Harm To The Body And The Spirit

Throughout the Bible, you will consistently find messages implicating substance abuse, namely alcohol, in harm to the body and the spirit. Famous passages about the harm caused by substance abuse include Proverbs 20:1, Isaiah 5:11, Ephesians 5:18-20, Galatians 5:19-21, Proverbs 23:20-21, Romans 13:13-14, and others. Many of these focus on wine, because it was the most common substance of its day. Without synthesized or man-made drugs, alcohol and opium , were often the drugs of choice. None sum it up quite so succinctly as Proverbs 23:29-35:

Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?

They that tarry long at the wine they that go to seek mixed wine.

Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.

Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.

They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

The passage is clear in its message that alcohol is seductive, but ultimately harmful.

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He Commits Great Wickedness Against God

  • There is none greater in this house than I, neither hath he kept back anything from me but thee, because thou art his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? Genesis 39:9.

When Joseph is seduced by Potiphars wife to engage in adultery, Joseph refuses and terms it as great wickedness and sin against God.

  • Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned and done this evil in Thy sight, that Thou mightiest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest Psalm 5:4.

Although David had murdered Uriah and slept with His wife, only against God had he sinned? David a man after Gods own heart knew that God took it personally when one commits adultery.

Submit Yourself And Your Weaknesses To God:

What does the bible say about addiction?

Romans 6:16 Dont you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obeywhether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

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Remaining Addicted Is A Sin

Substance abuse is a temptation that leads you away from the light of God. You cannot be a Christian and continue to indulge, but you can accept God back into your life and have your sins washed away. There is always hope for forgiveness, no matter how far you have fallen into addiction.

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:10-11

This message is repeated throughout the Bible, in the Old and New Testatament.

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, reveling, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God Galations 5:21

In Romans, the Bible explicitly talks about throwing off bounds of substance abuse and poor habits and rising up to be worthy of salvation and of God.

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

Let us walk honestly, as in the day not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. Romans 13:10-13

Bible Verses About Addiction

John 2:16

For everything in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life comes not from the Father but from the world.

The Bible discusses temptation in detail other examples are in the stories of Job and Joseph. God has given man free will so that we are not constricted and make the right choices for ourselves. The world is full of trials and potential stumbling blocks, including drugs and alcohol. To lead happy, fulfilling lives, we must choose the path of God instead of the path of temptation.


So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

In this passage, St Paul is discussing how believers in Christ must always remain alert and aware of what is going on around them. Self-discipline is integral so that Christians may help others to recognize and understand the word of the Lord. In the Bible, self-discipline and sobriety go hand in hand, a mantra for those who have been through recovery and need to stay on the right path can meditate on.

John 16:33

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Ephesians 5:18-20
Romans 5:3-5

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Connection Through Conflict For Couples In Recovery

The process of recovery is challenging. For couples, the trauma and challenges during recovery can sometimes be even more intense than the trauma that occurred during use. Couples often experience intense conflict during this time. Conflicts can come up around many different areas in life: kids, jobs, recovery meetings, worries about sobriety, frustration with a spouse’s lack of trust, holidays and family gatherings, spiritual issues, and so on and so on. Arguments can become volatile. Pain connected to the damage caused by use can come flooding in. Deep feelings of shame can cause someone to lash out or to turn away and avoid. Often, the underlying problems in the marital relationship that were possibly masked by the addiction overwhelm the couple. It is hard to feel hopeful. It is hard to see that things can get better.

So how is it possible to have conflict that could create connection, especially when the conflict is so loaded with scary stuff that has yet to be resolved. Two primary pieces to creating a healthy experience of conflict are: number one, being purposeful in building good moments together and number two, good conflict resolution. We are going to cover the conflict stuff first. In another entry we are going to go further into how to build the good moments.

They Lead To Laziness And Distraction

What does the Bible say about addiction?
  • For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day that Noah entered into the ark Mathew 24:38
  • The world will be at easebanquets and parties and weddingsjust as it was in Noahs time before the sudden coming of the Flood Mathew 24:37-38.
  • As I live, the Lord God says, Sodom and her daughters have never been as wicked as you and your daughters. 49 Your sister Sodoms sins were pride, laziness, and too much food, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door Ezekiel 16:48-49

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He Sins Against His Own Body

  • Runaway from sexual immorality . Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the one who is sexually immoral sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have from God and that you are not your own ? You were bought with a price . So then, honor and glorify God with your body 1 Corinthians 6:18-20.
  • Do you not understand that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? But whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what defiles and dishonors the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts and plans, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, slanders . These are the things which defile and dishonor the man, but eating with unwashed hands does not defile the man.Mathew 15:17-20.

This means that although God may forgive you, your body might develop sickness, even before God decides to let you face your punishment.

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Find Freedom From Addiction In Gods Strength:

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christs power may rest on me.

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Scripture Teaches That We Are To Be On Guard Against Covetousness

What Does the Bible Say About Addiction?

7. Exodus 20:17 Do not covet your neighbors house. Do not covet your neighbors wife, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

8. Ephesians 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints.

9. Luke 12:15 Then he said to them, Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.

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Understanding Gods Hope And Help For Substance Abuse

As a counselor, Ive been asked these two questions many times over the years:

What does the Bible say about substance abuse?

What does the Bible say about addiction?

If youre using prescription drugs or alcohol to mask the hurt and pain, you are not alone. And you can begin your healing right now.

These verses of hope will help you cope with difficult emotions. As you read, think about how much more healing Gods love is than the empty high that comes from substance abuse, and find more lasting comfort in Gods love for you.

What Does The Bible Say About Drugs

Chris Elkins, MA 2 sources

The Bible has a lot to say about intoxication, sobriety and intentionally harming the body. But it doesnt directly address the disease of addiction because the word addiction wasnt used when the Bible was written.

Some newer translations of the Bible use the word addicted, but the accuracy of different translations is unknown. This article uses the New International Version of the Bible.

The concepts of addiction and dependence only developed in the 20th century, according to a 2007 article published in the journal Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience.

Numerous Scriptures can be interpreted to imply that addiction is a sin, but meanings of Scriptures are debatable. In the first book of Corinthians, were warned that temptations can overpower us, but we are given the resources to overcome those temptations.

1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it

Substance abuse may be one of the temptations that the verse refers to. Alcohol and drug use are relatively common today. Addiction may be considered a temptation. Its difficult for many to bear. But God provides a way out. Rehab and addiction treatment can help individuals overcome the disease, and many people believe spirituality is a key component of recovery.

Other Scriptures are more direct.

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Break Free From Addiction With Wisdom From Scripture

  • General Biblical Studies, Interdenominational Christian Training Center

Addiction is a chronic or habitual dependency on a substance , a compulsion , or an activity . These are just a few of the many addictions people use to cope with overwhelming life events or to escape emotional pain and anxiety.

While the Bible does not explicitly mention the word addiction, it does contain numerous passages that address the issue and offer wisdom to help believers break free from sin and the consequences of addiction. These Bible verses about addiction provide hope, healing, guidance, and insight on your road to recovery.

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