Overcoming Addiction

Is there an addiction you’ve been dealing with for a long time? Do you feel like you’re facing a giant—a Goliath—in your life?

Goliath was even more than a serious adversary whom David had to face and defeat. He represents much more. Did you know Goliath means: “to strip, shame, and enslave”? Here are three steps toward slaying the giant of addiction.

1. Identify your Goliath.

Almost anything can become an addiction. Addictions can be a cycle you’re stuck in, a substance, a person in your life, or a practice.

Do any of these hit a nerve?

  • Entertainment: tv, video, games, tech, sports, exercise, shopping
  • Habits: drugs, alcohol, porn, nicotine, gambling, food, caffeine, sugar
  • Money: spending, coupon-clipping
  • Success: power, accumulation, work, perfectionism
  • Relationships: love, sex, romance, codependency, approval,
  • Emotions: anger, worry
  • Religion

2. Remember, it’s not a character flaw or simply a lack of willpower. 

Addictions are based on repetitive behaviors inherited or learned, then stored in deep regions of the brain. We each inherit a different set of vulnerabilities from our families and life experiences.

If you don’t admit the addiction to yourself, it’s hard to get the help you need. 

  • All addictions follow the same cycle: trigger, response, reward
    • Triggers stem from a need, a desire, or distress.
    • Our response: we need to be careful of using the wrong person or thing to meet a right need or desire.
  • Over time, the cycle becomes hard-wired through reward and repetition.

3. Develop and practice routines and rituals that break the cycle of specific cravings.

We need to consciously create habits to rewire ours brain, and learn to look to God first for everything we need. But how do we go about doing that? Jesus tells us how to take that next step in Matthew 7:7-8:

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 

  • Ask: Don’t go it alone. Ask for help. Seek pastoral counsel. Pray. Jesus is in your corner. Ask him to help you face your Goliath.
  • Seek: Identify the need or fear behind the trigger. What’s giving it power over you?
  • Knock: Reach out for whatever help you need. Find your “me too” people—people who have walked through similar pain and are able to encourage and support. Take that next step, however small.

Give yourself grace while you rewire what has been hard-wired. The power of your giant is cut in half when you bring it into the light of grace and truth. Don’t give up until the doorway to freedom has opened for you.

Next Steps: 

Celebrate Recovery is a 12-step program to help people address addictive patterns in their lives. We believe Jesus died to bring us freedom. This group provides a safe place to share your story and take steps toward that freedom. All facilitators for these groups have walked through their own similar challenges and now assist others in their journey. 

These group meetings are ongoing. You are welcome to join at any time.

  • Watch Pastor Chip Judd’s full sermon and learn more about battling addiction.