From brushing our teeth in a sleepy haze to driving home at night weary with work, we repeat tasks till we perform them without thinking. Living becomes a daily routine of subconscious patterns. Study the patterns and you will discover triggers for every subconscious action. Morning sleepiness triggers the urge for a coffee. Stress triggers the urge for a cigarette. Feeling bad triggers the urge for junk food. These little prods of addiction keep us in the same routine day after day. Three coffees a day, becomes 50 thousand cups of coffee over a lifetime. Junk food eating becomes a 30-year lifestyle that equates to truckloads of candy bars.
Addiction is anything that controls you, and, whether it’s food, pornography, coffee, TV or heroin, the result is the same. Addiction destroys health and freedom. The food industry has perfected addictive foods by adding lots of salt, fats, processed sugar and artificial flavor enhancers. Once in the blood, what was a delicious treat becomes tomorrow’s craving. These daily cravings become powerful forces shaping our destiny through dictating our thoughts, emotions and actions, and deteriorating our health and discipline.
There was rich man who asked Jesus, “What must I do to enter the Kingdom?” When he was asked to sell all he had and give it to the poor; he turned away because he valued money more than following Jesus. What have you exalted above Jesus? What is it that you cannot give up? What addiction is filling the space that only Christ can fill? You can sponsor 10 children, read the Bible daily, faithfully attend church, and yet be groaning with spiritual emptiness because you are in bondage to hidden addictions.
We live in an addictive society where it is socially acceptable to be addicted to sugar, salt, caffeine, fried food, cookies, cakes and junk. Yet, no matter how small the addiction, it has to go. Even a cookie addiction can powerfully affect your life through guilt, pimples and thirty pounds of excess weight. You may say it is just a few cookies but if there is deterioration to your health, and you eat them without control, your cookie addiction needs to end.
As a heavy drug user, the high was never long enough or high enough. Every time I got high, it was a tease. I always wanted more. Drugs were supposed to make me happy but I was miserable. I never had what I wanted. Leaving you always wanting is the sneaky side of addiction. An addiction makes you feel good for a time, but, behind your back, it is stealing your self-control and making you its slave through the desire for more. …for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. (2 Pet 2:18,19)