How to Stop Doing What You Can’t Stop Doing
It’s OK to not be OK, but it’s not OK to stay that way.
Our past can hold us back, but sometimes we’re stuck in our present. If you’re stuck in a rut of sinful behavior or a lifestyle that seems impossible to escape, God wants more for you.
Addiction is much broader than just drugs or alcohol. Addiction can happen with any substance, behavior, or experience that becomes an unhealthy priority in our lives. It masters us to the point that we are willing to put the addiction ahead of our family, friends, responsibilities, health, or even our relationship with God.
“People are slaves to whatever has mastered them” (2 Peter 2:19). Sin makes us slaves, but Jesus wants freedom for us because He loves us (Galatians 5:1).
Jesus offers the hope that everyone can live in freedom. If an addiction is causing problems in your life, God’s love and purposes for you don’t change.
Jesus offers the hope that everyone can live in freedom.
4 practical steps to walk in freedom with Jesus
Ask God for help.
Admit to God that you have a problem. Ask Him to help you, forgive you, and fill you with hope.
Jesus promises He will begin the process in you and carry it out in His power (Philippians 1:6). Your role is to say yes to Him and trust Him to guide you forward. Because Jesus is the One who sets us free, reading the Bible and listening to His voice for direction is one of the most helpful things we can do.
Tell someone about your struggle.
There is freedom that comes through confession—admitting to God and a trusted Christian friend that you messed up. Both confession and prayer will help you walk forward into healing (James 5:16).
Walking with Jesus in freedom takes time and requires people who can support us (Galatians 6:1-2). We can’t do life alone; we all need help from each other in community.
Set up healthy boundaries.
As much as you can, avoid the places and situations in which it’s difficult to say “no” to an addiction. Ask God for wisdom about not putting yourself in those situations of unnecessary temptation (James 1:13-15).
Boundaries don’t guarantee you won’t mess up again, but they are tools to protect and enjoy the freedom God has given you. Boundaries we set up for ourselves can help our actions match our hearts as God changes us and enables us to grow.
Get medical help if you’re chemically dependent.
Regarding substance abuse, stopping without medical help may not be wise. Some people start with a detoxification program for the first days as a safe way to overcome withdrawals. Others work through addiction recovery programs at in-patient or outpatient treatment centers to help get them and keep them on the right path.
To find the level of care you need, contact a licensed treatment program near you for an evaluation. Your life is valuable and trying to overcome chemical dependency can be difficult and dangerous without medical help.
No matter what struggle you’re facing, God’s not done with you. He walks with you every step into a life of freedom.