The Christian Addict: Avoiding Temptation in Recovery
If you have accepted that you are addicted to drugs or alcohol and are actively seeking help, you have probably wondered how you could have possibly become an addict, especially when you start thinking about your Christian background. You may feel some urgency to answer this question because of your concerns about temptation that could lead to relapse. The answer to these questions is in the Bible. Actually, it is in multiple places in the Bible.
The First Person Recorded in the Bible as Being Drunk
As far back as Noah, alcohol has caused a problem for humans. Genesis 9:21 says, “When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent.” Take a moment to consider the implications of Noah getting so drunk that he laid his inhibitions aside. Noah was a chosen man of God. He was the man who built the ark so that humanity and animals could live through the big flood that God used to purify the world. And yet, Noah got drunk.
This story in the very first book of the Bible proves that even the strongest Christian can stumble as a result of wine or strong drink. Alcoholism and drug addictions are just a stumbling block that the devil puts in your way to try to prevent you from moving on and moving up toward God. These are diseases that you can overcome if you allow God back into your heart and follow the path that He sets for you.
Noah got drunk, but he wasn’t addicted to alcohol but, you aren’t the first Christian to suffer from an addiction. In fact, some of the mightiest people in the Bible suffered from some form of addiction. For example, King Solomon, who was known for his wisdom, was addicted to women. In 1 Kings 11:1, the Bible says, “King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter–Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites.”
Avoiding Temptation in Recovery
The devil enjoys tempting God’s people to detour from the path God has set. The devil even tried to lure Jesus away from God. Matthew 4:1 says, “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.” While tempting Jesus, the devil even went as far as quoting scriptures to get Jesus to do wrong. That lets you know how a Christian can become an addict.
The devil is such a deceiver that he uses a person’s faith to get that person to stumble. He may have reminded you that Jesus turned water into wine as his first miracle. Now, when the devil throws something like that at you, it is time to do what Jesus did and answer the devil with a Bible truth. In this case, the Bible truth is that Jesus turned the water into wine so that others could drink it. The Bible never says that Jesus took a sip of the wine himself.
As you walk down the path to recovery from your addiction, you can hold tight to your faith in an effort to stay on the path that God has set for you. When the devil starts to tempt you with alcohol or drugs, answer him by reciting Ephesians 5:18, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” as an answer to him. Think about it – if God doesn’t want you to get drunk off of wine, He certainly doesn’t want you to get drunk off of any other alcohol or to get high by using drugs.
Get Back on God’s Path
An important part of getting help for your addiction is to realize that you must be selfless. You have to surrender your life to God. It is God’s will that you would succeed in life. He wants you to be happy. While alcohol and drugs may give you a short-term good feeling, the love of God and the joy of living with the Holy Spirit is a much better and longer lasting good feeling than any type of alcohol or drug could give you.
Throughout your recovery, remember that God loves you for you. He made you. He understands that you will stumble, and He does forgive you for stumbling. He will even help to carry you until you can carry yourself. You simply need to ask God to renew your mind, just like the Bible says in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Let your faith that God loves you and will help you throughout your recovery and beyond give you peace.
Accept Help From Other Christians
While you are recovering from your addiction, you can find empathy from recovering addicts who have since began following God’s path. Even if a Christian isn’t a recovering addict, he or she should still be empathetic and love you as God’s child. That fact should give you joy since you know that you don’t have to turn to your former friends for acceptance. You can head to the nearest Bible-based church or Christian clergy member and ask for help strengthening your faith.