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Christian Living

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Overcoming Addictions 10/05/18

See Yourself Changed

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Children love to pretend. A young boy fantasizes he is Spiderman shooting webs from his wrists and climbing incredible heights. A little girl sets up tiny tea cups with saucers at a little table and hosts the grandest tea party ever for her favorite dolls and stuffed animals. They look beyond who they are and enjoy the fascinating existence of their role-playing.

This can also be helpful to those of us struggling to be free from some addiction or behavior. If we daydream about the new life that is ahead of us, we help ourselves by conceiving that mental picture. It's a rehearsal of sorts.

Here are some examples:

The alcoholic mother anticipates having an argument with her teenager. Instead of heading to the cabinet or refrigerator for a drink, she pictures herself using calm language in handling the conflict and retreating to a room where she can be alone with a good book or a quiet time with the Lord. Then, when the next barrage of teen angst comes her way, the mother has a better chance of responding without heightened emotion and avoids the trigger to have a drink. 

A God-fearing man has a problem with Internet porn. He doesn’t like this about himself and hides it from everyone. For his recovery, he might pretend Jesus has a chair beside his when he's on his computer. (God does see all!) He might even put a chair there for Jesus. He can envision avoiding sexual content and spending time online with nothing to be ashamed about. When he's at his computer later, he can exit any ads or screens tempting him to indulge himself in the unwanted behavior. 

A smoker can picture life without having to stand outside of every public building he goes to. He can begin to embrace the idea that his clothes and hands smell fresh and clean. And eventually, he can be that guy. 

Whatever your behavior pattern, you can picture yourself living life without the drug or self-destructive behavior. It's a different life. You can know for certain it is the life our Lord has waiting for you. It certainly can’t hurt – and you can begin to change how you see yourself.

Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. Colossians 1: 10-14 (NLT)

How would you picture yourself? 

Remember, transparency helps you grow closer to God. It can also encourage someone else who may be hoping to experience God’s freedom from an addiction. Please share.

Copyright © 2010 Beth Livingston, used by permission.

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