Late last year, I lost my father-in-law to lung cancer. This new year my husbands’ aunt is battling stage four lung cancer.
This has led me to pray about addictions.
There are many types …some more obvious …like smoking, drinking, gambling, overeating.
Some however are easier to hide…pride, perfectionism, control, possessions/lust, greed.
I want to take you through some truth Journaling I’ve done about my own addiction. I pray it helps you identify your addictions and begin working through them with the help of Christ (Phil1:6).
My addiction: Worry
My anxiety masks itself in controlling behaviors.
Feeling in control eases my fears and gives me a semblance of power in this crazy and unpredictable world.
What do I fear?
I fear not having enough food for my family, so when I see a “good deal", I buy extra. Then having it neatly organized adds to my sense of control and gives me pride in a job well done. (Matt 6:19-21).
I fear someone will unexpectantly drop by my house so I clean it almost daily. I can’t have them think I’m a bad house keeper. I must be a good steward of the possessions God has blessed me with …so I clean, clean, clean!
I fear…well, you get the picture.
I have fears that I cover up by trying to control my environment and be as perfect as I possibly can.
Where did these fears come from?
Many of them came from my childhood.
My dad owned his own business and he lived by the motto “better to give than receive”. On more than one occasion that meant the homeless man on the street got his last $20, while his family had to pawn something in order to eat.
As I grew up, I let insecurities about possessions rule my life. I realized I had this sinful habit, but it wasn’t until I began asking God to help me understand why people have such a hard time overcoming addictions that He revealed the true depth of my own.
Now, I know why the smoker can’t “just quit”.
Before the smoker can stop the addiction, they must realize why they began it. Otherwise they will just pick up a new addiction to help them ease the underlying issue.
When God showed me where my fears steamed from, I began asking Him to help me view my fears through His eyes so I could live victoriously over them and not allow them to control me (I thought I was in control, but really my fears/insecurities controlled me) (Phil4:13, Romans 6:16).
Next God showed me all the times my family “almost” went without. Could my dad have used more discretion on giving…maybe…if I look with human eyes.
But when I look through the eyes of God, I see my dad’s heart was in the right place. Our possessions aren’t ours to keep. They’re ours to bless others with. Not only that, God is our provider (Psalm 54:4, Matt 6:25-34).
Not once did God not provide. So why I thought I had to protect my family I have no idea.
On the issue of cleaning: My mom always kept a tidy house. So did I get a cleaning obsession from that?
No, God showed me it came from me not wanting to be judged by others.
I allowed what others thought of me dictate my days. Over the years I can count on one hand the number of times someone “unexpectantly” stopped by. So why this irrational desire to keep my house super clean is beyond me.
When I boiled all these fears and control issues down, I found the real culprit: Lack of Faith and Trust in God- OUCH!
All these addictions were there because I didn’t TRUST God. I thought I had to take care of everything. I had to be worthy in others eyes. I justified it by saying I was being a good steward of the things God had given me (1 John 5:21).
I never realized they held me captive (John 8:34).
Now that I know what fuels my worry, I’m ready to break free (Romans 8:37).
This doesn’t mean I’m going to become a lousy house keeper. No, I must be a good steward. But I do it now with the right heart and mindset (Col 3:23). I also keep my priories in line and spending time with family trumps picking up toys. I'm even getting better at buying only what we need now, instead of purchasing ahead.
Questions for reflection:
What are your addictions?
Do you know what fuels them?
Are you ready to ask God to help you break free?