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Breaking addiction January 26, 2011

Posted by daniel ayad in Behaviour.
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Breaking addiction is one of the most difficult tasks a person can face. It is extremely hard to overcome addiction, especially when the approach does not involve God. In fact, we can argue that the only real way to overcome addiction is to totally involve God.

When we try to overcome addiction, and fail miserably, we learn that:

  1. We are too weak to fight the enemy alone
  2. Temptation grows or develops through a “chain” of steps, each one linked to the next like a link in a chain. The earlier the step/link, the weaker its influence over us.
  3. Each time we give in to a particular sinful activity, through backtracking we will see that the beginning of the chain occurs sooner than we discovered on the previous occasion and sooner than the time before that[1].

The bigger the sin, the harder it is to overcome. The more ‘chains’ the stronger its influence over us.

Once you give a thought a chance, it grows into a major battle, making it more difficult to overcome. To use an analogy think about a dinosaur like Tyrannosaurus Rex. Imagine it to be alive today. If you came across one and you had no powerful weapon, it could easily eat you alive. Now think how useful it would be if you could recognize the eggs of this beast. If you could find the eggs in your neighbourhood and crush them before they developed into the dinosaur, then they could not grow to become a danger to you. The same applies to evil thoughts and images. If we destroy them at their first appearance, no matter how many times they reappear, we destroy the invincible adversary they would have grown to become[2].

You can never accept the thought and be complacent to think you can overcome it. The more the thought wonders in your mind, the harder it is to avoid acting upon it. It will win every time.

If you start to overcome a evil thought or image, do not be proud of ‘your’ achievement. Your complacency and pride into thinking you have done all the hard work will lead to your downfall. Pride precedes the fall and you will fall if you do not attribute the achievements to God. But again do not be discouraged when you fall, we will fall many times even long after we have quit our addictions and bad habits. It is a long, hard battle.

We could continue and explain why we have temptations, evil thoughts and images. But for now we will briefly mention some strategies and tactics for spiritual warfare:

  1. Never rely on ourselves. Realise our nothingness and constantly keep in the forefront of our mind the fact that by ourselves we can do nothing good which is worthy to gain entry into heaven.
  2. Ask for God’s help in this with warm and humble prayers, for this is His gift.
  3. Accustom ourselves to be wary and to fear our innumerable enemies whom we cannot resist even for a short time without God’s help.
  4. If we fall into some transgression, we must quickly acknowledge the realization of our weakness and remain aware of it[3].

 


[1] Victor Mihailoff, Breaking the chains of addiction, pg 23, 2005

[2] Ibid., pg 27

[3] Ibid., pg 74

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