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What Does the Bible Say About Addiction?
The Bible’s Teachings on Addiction
The ancients were not immune to addiction. Alcohol and other substances were certainly known to the people of Bible lands and, like many today, people back then could also fall prey to addiction. Although we can now view substance addiction through the lens of disease treatment and medical understanding, we can also rely on the Bible for its words on addiction and the temptations that invariably accompany it. JC’s Recovery Center is a faith-based rehab; we offer Christian support alongside evidence-based therapies to help those suffering from addiction on their recovery journey. During our group sessions, we sometimes discuss what the Bible says in reference to addiction and the temptations that sufferers experience.
Continue reading for a selection of Bible verses that touch on the subject of addiction and what they teach us.
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21
In these verses, the Bible is quite clear in its warning as it suggests that those who engage in drunkenness will not inherit God’s kingdom. At JC’s Recovery Center, we help people embrace Christian living and learn how to guard against triggers that would lead them to relapse.
“They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” 2 Peter 2:19
Addiction sufferers do truly feel enslaved to whatever substance they are addicted to. The addiction enslaves their body, mind, and spirit. Alcohol and drugs corrupt each essential aspect of an individual’s life. By learning to manage their substance addiction, they can put an end to the enslavement that threatens to ruin their life.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
At JC’s Recovery, we rely on some aspects of 12 step programming like the steps founded by Alcoholics Anonymous. One of these steps is to submit our wills to God. Each step is designed to bring addiction sufferers closer to God and closer to recovery. The verse implies that when we give ourselves to God, the temptations that fuel addiction will no longer rule us.
“Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.” I Corinthians 15:33
During our counseling sessions, we often discuss the importance of disconnecting from unhealthy friendships and toxic relationships. In order to recover, it’s important for addiction sufferers to avoid people who engage in drinking or drug use. ‘Bad company’ can derail a person’s recovery journey so we discuss ways to minimize peer pressure.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” I Corinthians 10:13-14
Being addicted to a powerful substance like alcohol or opioids can be an overwhelming experience. Some people have a hard time imagining the possibility of being free from their addiction. They can achieve recovery. By focusing on their faith and helpful treatments, they can escape from the clutches of addiction.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” I Peter 5:10
People who have a substance addiction do, indeed, suffer in their mind, body, and spirit. This suffering however, does have an end point. At JC’s Recovery we help individuals in our care rely on their faith–and grow their faith. We embrace treatments that support the recovery of their mind, body, and spirit.
JC’s Recovery Center specializes in evidence-based treatments complemented by Christian support. We help clients understand the nature of addiction and what may have led them to abuse drugs or alcohol. Then, we focus on developing strategies to help them prevent relapse. One of those strategies, of course, is their faith and relationship with God. If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, turn to JC’s Recovery to help you manage your addiction. We can provide you with the support you need to achieve the sober life you crave. Call or visit us to learn more about our program offerings.