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What Does the Bible Say About...Addiction?

Hi, I have been addicted to pornography for a long time, I realize it is a bad thing, I feel terrible about it and I wish to stop and repent, can you help me? Thank you.


Any addiction is difficult to deal with, whether physical or psychological. But there is hope. You are not the first to try to deal with an addiction, and the scriptures speak of others who have succeeded in overcoming one. "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 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 Cor. 6:9-11)" Paul included drunkards in this list, and it could apply to any addiction. The church in Corinth had former addicts, with emphasis on the word former.

Perhaps the key to overcoming any addiction is to read and re-read Romans 6. In this chapter Paul points out that those who have been baptized (who have become Christians) have put to death the old man and have been raised to walk in a new life. He points out that this new life is not one of sin, but of devotion to God. "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (Rom. 6:12-13)" He says that we made the choice to die to sin and live to Christ, so we can make the choice not to let sin rule us. He does not say, nor should he be assumed to imply, that it is an easy choice.

Whatever one may think of the "twelve step" programs (and you might look into joining one for pornography addiction-they are available in some places), they do have at least one good point. Addiction must be dealt with today, each today of your life. You have to wake up today and say that today I choose not to participate in this activity. One excellent way to do that is to start off each day with prayer. Tell God you know you have a problem, and you want him to deal with it. In this regard, read James 5:13-18.

Beyond this, the scripture offers other practical advice. Eph 5:18-20 says "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Whatever your addiction, Paul says instead fill yourself with the Holy Spirit. As I believe the scripture teaches that the Spirit is the word of God, it follows that the more you apply that word in your life, the less you will participate in your addiction. When you feel the urge to give in to your addiction, reach instead for your Bible. Fill yourself with it and the other will lose its control.

Related to that last suggestion, actively and aggressively choose to follow Philippians 4:8-9, which reads: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you." Consciously choose to think on things that are pure and of good report.

I pray that these scriptures may help you in your struggle. May God bless you in your efforts to walk with him.