Who’s in Control?
Sandra’s life was no longer her own. As a result, her husband Alexander became so distraught he left home. Two weeks later, he called the police and accused Sandra of neglecting their three children. The police drove to Sandra’s apartment and discovered appalling conditions.
What took over Sandra’s life to the point that nothing else mattered? Incredibly, it was surfing the Internet. Alexander claimed she spent up to 12 hours a day on the computer. Police Sergeant Paul Neudigate was quoted by the Associated Press: “She would lock the children in their room so as not to be bothered. The place was in complete shambles, but the computer area was completely immaculate.”
People can become addicted to anything. If something in your life is out of balance—keeping you from family, from friendships, from work or from your relationship with God—it’s a problem that must be confronted. Many addictions are to things that, when kept in balance, are perfectly okay, like the Internet, shopping or food. Other addictions are never appropriate, such as drugs or pornography.
Biblically, addiction centers around the issue of self-control—and whether or not you practice it. In 1 Corinthians 6:12, Paul writes: “ ‘Everything is permissible for me’ – but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible for me’ – but I will not be mastered by anything.” As a believer in Jesus Christ, the only thing that should be controlling you is Him.
- Timothy lists a lack of self-control as one of the characteristics that’ll be evident in the lives of godless people in the last days (2 Timothy 3:3).
- Paul warns the Thessalonians not to be like those who belong to the darkness, but to be “sons of the day” who are alert and self-controlled (1 Thessalonians 5:5-8).
- Self-control is identified by Paul as one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23) and by Peter as an attribute of a godly, faith-filled life (2 Peter 1:6).
God will help you regain self-control as you submit to Him and to do whatever it takes to remove the addiction from your life. Here are five steps to get you started:
- Admit you have an addiction.
- Take full responsibility for your addiction.
- Get specific help for your addiction.
- Change your behavior to combat the addiction.
- Develop accountability to help you fight the addiction.
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