While the bible may not address addiction specifically, historically, it’s one of the best representative texts on coping with temptation. There are verses in the Old and New Testament both condemning sin and offering a kind of spiritual rebuttal against it. Even Christ’s death is about moving beyond the sins of our past on our quest for salvation.
The Bible maintains two primary themes throughout its text. Firstly, sin and temptation are a thing of the Devil and secondly, the way to move away from sin, including alcohol and drug abuse, is through trust and strength found within the higher power of the Lord. So, when speaking to addiction, we’re not just talking about surviving addiction; we’re talking about a kind of spiritual warfare as it interrupts our path to Heaven.
That said, even if you do not have a faith that coincides with the beliefs outlined in the holy text, there are plenty of passages that offer insight into the human condition, and comfort of a higher nature. So relevant are some of the passages of the Bible, they may as well have been written yesterday, as two thousand years ago.
Common Sense Advice
In 1 Corinthians 15:33, the verse “Bad company ruins good morals” is a reasonable assertion. Someone who is hanging around people who are using drugs is more likely to abuse drugs. Likewise, when in recovery, it is best to stay away from the people who used to encourage you to use, to avoid relapse.
Trust in A Higher Power
Really, one of the most common messages in the Bible regarding sin or addiction is that righteousness, peace, salvation, or sobriety all comes from reorienting yourself with spirit, rather than “pleasures of the flesh.”
1 John 3:8 says, “Walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” If you wake up each day feeling gratitude for your sobriety and a connection to a higher power, then this will bring you joy and pleasure and after some practice, it can navigate you around alcohol or drug cravings.
This is also the common theme among 12-step programs. It acknowledges the enormous power addiction can hold over an individual. Seeking help from a higher power, whether God or another higher power, or to the program itself, you are better able to put the addiction in in perspective and see it in the context of your life and your life’s purpose.
In Philippians 4:4-7, “Rejoice in the Lord always… Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
This passage, more than most, speaks to the notion that in order to receive a gift from God, you need only put forth a true expression of gratitude. Many world religions share this view in some overlapping fashion. It is a view that faith in the process is one way to get through each day. It also reduces the anxiety someone might experience thinking too far into the future. A focus on today and each gift the day brings will help restore a spiritual sense of well-being. And you need not be religious to experience this kind of gratitude.
Healing The Spirit And Body
One of the more familiar passages in the Bible, found in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,” expounds upon this idea that those earthly things we deem necessary are nothing without a spiritual awareness.
It also reiterates the thought that a focus on spiritual health, rather than relying on the whims of addiction, will reinforce a path toward contentment. “For those who live according to the flesh, set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”
More simply, if the pleasure you seek out each day is that which comes with the degradation of the spiritual and physical self, you are condemning yourself to an unsavory fate. By seeking instead a love of something bigger than drugs or alcohol, you’re improving the opportunities that abound with a life in sobriety.
“Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit…” Ephesians 5:18-20
Becoming Whole Again
While the Bible can be downright condemning of addiction and “sins of the flesh,” a common theme emerges with the crucifixion of Christ into the New Testament. Addiction isn’t just something we experience; it controls us. And no matter how terrible we behave and how horrific the sins we commit while using, we can rid ourselves of that former self and move forward renewed.
This theme is touched upon in the book of Romans 6:6-7: “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.”
When someone has been battling addiction for years, it can feel an impossible task to regather any sense of wholeness. 1 Peter 5:10, reminds us that though we have been downtrodden and have suffered, we can again find strength and become whole again: “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.”
Sobriety For Self And For Others
Addiction doesn’t affect the individual alone. It can cripple families, destroy friendships, and lead to career and financial ruin. Someone seeking sobriety in their life may come from struggles buried deep. They might suffer from anxiety, low self-esteem, and feel they are unworthy of love or the benefits sobriety affords.
Sometimes a person begins that path toward sobriety to reunite with their loved ones, including children who have been removed from the home due to the addiction. Sometimes they do it for their spouse. In the book of Psalms 50:15, the Bible suggests a kind of partnership between the Holy Spirit and man.
“Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” Respect for and faith in a higher power is sometimes enough to get someone through a craving. And the awareness that by opening yourself to a higher power or a unified spirit, or even for your children and loved ones, you are getting through not only for yourself, but for others.
Get Help For Your Addiction To Drugs And Alcohol
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, help is here. DrugRehab.org can connect you with the resources you need to locate treatment options and professional support to combat the addiction. Contact us today and discover a life free from the bonds of addiction on your path toward a more peaceful life in recovery.