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Overcoming Addictions - Help for Christians

Christians and non-Christian alike battle with addictions and other behaviors that they find themselves struggling to leave behind. Through faith in Jesus Christ and placing emotional and spiritual health as attainable goals, we can all be overcomers.

This blog, produced by Certified Recovery Specialist Beth Livingston, is for people to exchange struggles and victories of breaking free from addictions and other hurtful behaviors.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Avoid Rebellion, Stay Connected

group holding hands

by David Gibson

Ordained Pastor and Pastoral Counselor

The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10 an important warning to the church: stay united to Christ and to the fellowship of believers.

He begins by explaining that Israel was led and provided for by things that preceded the incarnation of Christ, but by Christ none-the-less; they were expressions, provisions, and foreshadows of him. Judaism was Christianity under a veil.

Israel was miraculously conducted through the Red Sea, where the pursuing Egyptians were drowned: it was a highway provided to them, but a grave to their enemies: a type of our redemption by Christ, who saves us by conquering and destroying his enemies and ours.

They had sacraments like ours. They were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud, and in the sea or into Moses, that is, brought under obligation of obedience to Moses’s law and covenant, as we are by baptism under the Christian law and covenant of grace. It was to them a type of baptism in which we symbolically say, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Paul then writes of the cost of temptation to Israel and then the cost of temptation to the church after Christ.

Some in Israel complained. They wanted to go back to the bondage of Egypt. They lusted after evil things. They created their idol in the golden calf. Paul shows us that to want evil (those things that once held us in bondage) leads to the idolatry of those things. And for the Corinthians the two rebellions, first in heart, then in action to a falling away to temple prostitutes in the temple of Venus.

Paul, using Israel as an example, teaches the Corinthians: First, do not wander from God or complain about God: this only leads to rebellion. God allows us to be tested, just as He did with Israel, so that we can see where we are in our path of Christian maturity and learn to strengthen our ever growing faith.

Second, Whenever we are tempted, God will provide a way out. We should all hide 1st Corinthians 10:13 in our hearts: “ No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

Third, share in the food of Christ; do not share with the food of idolatry. A friend of mine used to say, “What we cannot do alone, we can do together.” It was a succinct way of expressing the importance of unity with other overcomers and other Christians. We need each other. We remind each other that Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

The communion table reminds us of our unity with Jesus Christ, our unity with each other, and that Christ has overcome our enemies. Are you meeting regularly with other overcomers? Are you attending a church and plugged in to the fellowship of saints there? Are you reading the letters of love, comfort and overcoming that Jesus, the Living Word, has left for you? If not, you may soon find yourself wanting to return to your Eqypt rather than the old rugged Cross of Jesus Christ. Stay united to Christ and to the fellowship of believers!

Copyright 2014 David Gibson, used by permission.

David GibsonDavid Gibson is a writer, essayist, and blogger of Bible teachings for life application ( He is also a Christian conference and retreat speaker, an adjunct professor of World Religions, and the former host of radio’s “Walking with the Master”.  David is an ordained pastor and was a pastoral counselor in the NJ prison system and a NJ psychiatric hospital. He received his Clinical Pastoral Education at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He was freed from his addictions over 25 years ago.

posted @ Thursday, April 10, 2014 5:54 PM | Feedback (0)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Accepting Your Sainthood

Sometimes I wonder if it is a part of our fallen humanity to desire guilt, shame and punishment. In a healthy sense, guilt and shame tell us when we have done something wrong; emotional nerves that tell us we have hurt ourselves and perhaps another in the process. However, when it comes to sin, scripture gives us a different perspective.

posted @ Friday, March 21, 2014 11:10 AM | Feedback (0)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

God’s Words of Grace - Part 2

So are you ready to change your mind about, and have a completely different experience with, the world around you? Are you ready to stop being conformed to the ways of the world and be transformed by the renewing of your mind with and through God’s word (Romans 12:2)? You are not alone.

posted @ Wednesday, February 26, 2014 11:59 AM | Feedback (1)

God’s Grace, His Word and You - Part 1

Thus we must enter into the love relationship, first through Christ, second through His Spirit, and third, through His word. God said to Israel in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and to the church in Matthew 12:30-31 that we must love God with all our mind, heart, soul and strength. These are in a particular order for a reason. We need God’s word in our mind so it can then enter our heart, soul and actions.

posted @ Wednesday, February 26, 2014 11:56 AM | Feedback (0)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Why Pray When It Doesn’t Stop Snowing?

Everything and everyone is beautiful until that one person causes us harm, or that one prayer seems unanswered, then our once active prayer life becomes a periodic prayer life. Our actions reveal an attitude that “God is gonna do whatever He wants weather I talk to him or not.” Not true.

posted @ Friday, February 21, 2014 5:13 PM | Feedback (1)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Only One True Way to Overcome Addictions?

I believe that recovery can be attained if you do it the way that works best for YOU and your family. We are all individuals; we learn differently, have unique beliefs and certainly each have our own truths. That does NOT prevent any of us from accepting the pieces of the process that work for us and traveling a path less known or accepted if that helps us and our fractured families achieve our dreams, sanity and sobriety.

posted @ Friday, February 14, 2014 8:31 PM | Feedback (2)

Friday, January 17, 2014

What's Next for the New Year?

We have to move God from the marginal consultant we call on in times of need, to the center of our lives. He wants us to experience the love that has given us all things with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:32). God has given us an advantage over this world and all the things in it that we cannot control.

posted @ Friday, January 17, 2014 3:59 PM | Feedback (0)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Tips for Getting through the Holidays

The holidays can be busy and full of gatherings of family and friends. But for us in our recovery these can be stressful and hard to handle. They can send us thinking that we should be back out there using our addiction for comfort. We might need some tips for getting through the holidays clean and sober.

posted @ Friday, December 13, 2013 5:59 PM | Feedback (1)

Friday, December 06, 2013

Healing Past Hurts (Part Two)

Where is your heart today? Locked in anger? Fear? Despair? Sometimes the past can encase our hearts in stone. But God can and wants to change that for us (Ezekiel 36:26-27). Trust Him. Ask Him in Jesus name, and He will do it, and abundant life will begin to flow through you in ways you could never imagine to ask! You will see the beauty that surrounds you in perfect peace.

posted @ Friday, December 06, 2013 10:03 AM | Feedback (0)

Friday, November 01, 2013

Healing Past Hurts (Part One)

Sometimes we have to dig around the dirt in order to plant something new, beautiful and well-rooted. This post is the first of two parts of a teaching on healing the past. Before you go forward, stop and pray. Ask God to open the eyes of your understanding to anything He may want to reveal to you.

posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 5:23 PM | Feedback (1)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Weaning Unwanted Behaviors from your Life

Sometimes we complicate our own lives. I know, quite an understatement for most of us. We indulged in addictions or behavior partly to sooth ourselves in the complicated mess we were in, and the result was…more complications.

posted @ Friday, October 25, 2013 4:29 PM | Feedback (0)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Are You Looking Back with Gratitude or Regret?

Looking back at what our slavery to __________________ (name your area of addiction or destructive behavior) has cost us can be both beneficial and harmful. The indicator of which side we are on is discovered by asking ourselves, “Does this thinking result in gratitude or regret?”

posted @ Monday, October 14, 2013 4:54 PM | Feedback (1)

Friday, October 11, 2013

To Reach the Destination Requires Determination

In recovery we will always encounter people and situations that want to divert us from the path of wellness and wholeness. The Lord promises us a way out when we are challenged to fall back (1 Cor. 10:13). But the decision is always ours whether to take his way or our old way.

posted @ Friday, October 11, 2013 4:54 PM | Feedback (2)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Sometimes Depression Comes from a Matter of Perspective

It is important for us to understand depression triggers (fear and anger being the most common), first, so that we can see the signs and take action against depression before it arrives, and second, so that we can ask God for specific helps.

posted @ Friday, September 27, 2013 2:07 PM | Feedback (0)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Accepting and Understanding Change

Few people like change. It has a destabilizing effect on us. And if we do not accept it, before we know it, we begin thinking of that one consistent thing in our lives—our addiction. It has been said that resisting change is like holding your breath; if you succeed, you will die.

posted @ Thursday, September 26, 2013 11:22 AM | Feedback (0)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Interview with a Recovering Emotional Vampire

If we have not walked a few miles in their shoes, we do not have the right to pass sentence on their motives. The best we can do is to listen to the heart of the matter and follow a few simple guidelines. Obviously, the addict’s actions must be policed and consequences must become reality. That still does not mean that we “understand.”

posted @ Saturday, September 21, 2013 12:23 PM | Feedback (0)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Devil’s 12 Step Program

The enemy of our souls takes the same approach – his plan starts with a decision too – exactly opposite from any healthy life-changing program. He wants people to deny that they’re powerless over anything. Since the beginning of time, the devil’s agenda has been to trick man into thinking that he doesn’t need God. Satan knows that he’s already got a foothold on you if you have an addiction and he never wants you to get better.

posted @ Sunday, July 21, 2013 11:38 PM | Feedback (11)

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Lies We Believe

Some examples of lies we believe and tell ourselves is "Nobody cares about me", "I am not important", "I am not worthy"; "No one cares", "I will never get better", "I am such a loser", and many more. It is so interesting that this verse says we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place.

posted @ Friday, July 12, 2013 4:41 PM | Feedback (0)

Friday, May 31, 2013

Will God Help Me Get Rid of this Anger?

Get a grip on our anger. Many times as we begin this journey from our addictions, we find that underneath the substances or sexual addiction there is anger. After we have left the addiction and have become abstinent from it, then the anger comes with a vengenance.

posted @ Friday, May 31, 2013 4:55 PM | Feedback (4)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

When You Feel You Have Nothing to Lose

Many people for a light that will shine far brighter than the inward shadows of despair and fear. Life could be hard and uncertain. The question of our hearts is, "Wom can I turn to for answers?"

posted @ Sunday, May 12, 2013 1:24 PM | Feedback (1)