Addiction is exceptionally challenging, no matter your faith, beliefs, or substance of choice. The deep mental and physical components of addiction can be nearly impossible to overcome, requiring great inner strength and focus to accomplish successfully.
For those who believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ and follow the word of the Lord, however, this process can be even more difficult. While many addicts feel as though they failed themselves somehow, especially once a need for help becomes evident, followers of Christ often believe that they failed both themselves and God, creating a complex emotional web that may worsen in time.
However, the divide between faith and recovery is often far narrower than substance abusers initially believe. As Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” While God alone cannot necessarily lead you to sobriety, His teachings can help those suffering with addiction to find a solid path to success in recovery.
Addiction vs. Faith
Addiction as a sin is a well-known fact for followers of Christ. As 1 John 2:16 states, “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” As such, falling into the grips of drug or drink can be emotionally and spiritually overwhelming. Acknowledging sin yet continuing to sin is incongruous with the teachings of the Lord, leaving those who are struggling with addiction to feel lost, alone, and rejected.
Turning away from God can be the downfall of many addicted Christians. Instead of using His strength to seek help, some Christians abandon their faith. They feel as though God has left them behind, their religious communities have shut the door, and that there is no way to adhere to the Word of the Lord again.
This, of course, is not true. As we are all sinners, God is uniquely positioned to hear your sins and offer you forgiveness, no matter the mistakes you have made in your past. In fact, God’s teachings can even strengthen and embolden your recovery efforts, offering tools and techniques to help you understand the drivers behind your addiction and commit to achieving – and maintaining – sobriety.
How God’s Teachings Can Help
God’s teachings can be used throughout recovery in many different ways, offering numerous avenues through which substance abusers can recommit to both Christianity and sobriety. Using these opportunities, recovering addicts can seek strength, conviction, and perspective in God’s Word, providing a clear path to abstinence.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14
Prayer is among God’s most powerful tools, providing a way through which humans can communicate with the Creator. Prayers aren’t like a magic wish – they aren’t guaranteed to trigger outcomes as you request – but can certainly make your feelings, thoughts, and ideas known to the Lord as you work through the challenges associated with addiction. Asking for help, love, and support can help you deepen your faith, strengthening your personal connection with God.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
While not common to all Christian-based religions, some denominations, like Catholicism, utilize a confessional through which practitioners can admit sin and seek forgiveness. However, all believers can find peace by confessing sins and striving for forgiveness, no matter the official practices followed within your Church.
Part of overcoming addiction means making amends, and confession is a good place to start. Admitting your addiction to God means admitting your addiction to yourself, and this is an important part of acknowledging a need for outside interference.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” – Romans 10:17
The Bible is among the best ways to explore the teachings of the Lord, providing evidence of His love and power. Bible studies can thus be a critical part of recovery, helping substance abusers to recognize their failings, work to overcome challenges, and learn through the lessons of those who walked with Christ. An option both alone and with a spiritual leader, Bible study can clarify your faith and provide the advice and guidance you need to grow.
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:20
Church attendance is a regular part of worship for many people of faith, and that includes those in recovery. Offering a comfortable environment in which to explore beliefs, hear words of wisdom, and review teachings from the Bible, church attendance can help you increase your awareness of Christ’s principles in the context of real-world applications. Church also comes with a strong community, providing a support system that can lift you up through the recovery process.
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” – Proverbs 16:9
12-Step programs, while varied in form and function, do utilize faith-based principles to urge participants to accept their own failings and admit a need for guidance from a higher power. Through an emphasis on the necessity of faith and belief in a force outside of oneself, utilizing a 12-step program to work toward sobriety can reinforce the power of God in guiding your life.
Working With God
With the right tools, it’s possible to let God be your guide to sobriety. However, this doesn’t mean putting your future entirely in God’s hands; instead, you must work through the mental and physical components of addiction independently while allowing God’s words to strengthen your resolve and cleanse your spirit. While His teachings, actions, and responses to prayer can help you admit a problem, confess sins, seek forgiveness, and deepen your faith, the true labor can only come from within yourself.
As 1 Corinthians 10:13-14 states, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” God can provide a beacon of hope in your struggles, but it’s up to you to follow it.
Let Road to Freedom Be Your Guide
Road to Freedom is a Christian inpatient treatment and detox center that embraces a balance between proven scientific teachings and the spiritual guidance offered by Christ. If you or someone you love is suffering with addiction, our caring, compassionate team is happy to help. Please contact us today at (844) 402-3605 to see what we can do for you.