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Overcoming Addictions 01/06/17

Why Can't I Quit—for Good?

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Paul said it best, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Romans 7:15 NIV

When we tell ourselves, “This is my last drink (or cigarette, bag of chips, time looking at porn, etc.),” we mean it. We intend to leave that out of our lives from that moment on. It's a firm decision.

Then we go for a short time without it, and life gets too sad, dull, lonely, stressful, etc., and we go ahead and use or do whatever it is we said we were quitting. We often tell ourselves, “We needed it," or some other excuse or way to minimize the truth. We may feel a little guilty for breaking our promise to ourselves to quit, but the behavior gave us some relief or excitement for the moment, so we’re not 100 percent sorry that we went there. We tell ourselves that we’ll start over again. Such is the cycle of addictions and compulsive behaviors. Is this ringing true for anyone reading this?

The crux of the problem is our belief that we NEED this behavior in our lives, that it's not a big deal! And that’s a lie! It comes from the father of lies, Satan, who seeks to destroy us. He gets pleasure from our inability to quit something that we know is bad for us. Do we really want to keep our enemy so satisfied? The answer is NO!

Do we really believe that it’s a lie? Maybe that’s the better question. Do we NEED this substance or habit that we keep trying to quit? If we need it, why are we trying to get rid of it? Sounds sort of silly when we break it down like that. But the problem is so serious that lives, relationships, and cultures suffer because of our inabilities to quit.

Oh, dear friends, we need to seek our loving, forgiving Savior, Jesus Christ, for our answers. He did not suffer and die a tormented death and raise to life again to watch his children live in bondage to strongholds in our lives. He came to set us free! Do you want to be free? Really free for the rest of your life? If your answer is yes, then please take action. 

Seek Jesus. Seek professional help. What you are doing isn’t working or you’d be free already. Join a recovery group and work through the process with Christ by your side. Whatever program or action God leads you to take part in will be the right step. Trust God. “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. We all NEED that!

We CAN quit. We are not helpless and we are not hopeless. Quitting for good is the pinnacle of freedom and we can all experience it. Be determined to make it a reality. Seek freedom as frequently and as diligently as you have sought your drug of choice or the feeling you got from your behavior. 

Copyright © 2010 Beth Livingston. Used by permission.

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