Bad Habits and Addiction

The call came late one night…my colleague admitted he’d had enough. His addiction to alcohol was consuming him and he desperately needed help. He acknowledged that he was drinking most mornings and was even drinking on the job. This man became a slave to a nasty substance and was in a prison of his own making.  He was in bondage and on a road of self-destruction. Fortunately, when he hit rock bottom, he saw his need and cried out for help. Within a few days he was undergoing detoxification at a rehab facility.

No one would voluntarily become a slave to a nasty habit or substance. Still, many in the workplace find themselves with serious addictions or bad habits that lead to harmful behavior and/or consequences. In reality, these addictions or bad habits can originate from issues other than drugs or alcohol. Laziness, unhealthy eating or even computer games can create their own types of bondage. Sometimes, bad habits and addiction can even stem from “good things” such as working too much or excessive exercise. Bottom line, any type of addiction or habit that controls our thoughts and lives is sin. By its very nature, sin can be alluring and attractive in the beginning, but over time becomes destructive. My pastor used to say that sin will take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay and make you pay more than you want to pay. So…how can we avoid or overcome the sin of bad habits or addictions? While some addictions require medical intervention, the only way we can be successful in permanently breaking the bonds of sin, is to be controlled by the Holy Spirit within us, and that can’t happen until we give Him control of our lives. For believers, the Bible says you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you (Romans 8:9). As a believer, the Spirit of God dwells in you and promises to be your helper.

Your workplace challenge is to identify any bad habit or addiction in your life. It’s imperative to first admit there’s a problem. Second, if it’s a physical addiction, get help as needed. In all cases, be willing to surrender totally to God as only He can change the heart and replace addictive craving with God-honoring desires. Finally, find the support and accountability of someone who loves you and who will speak truth into your life. With the help of others and the Spirit of God in you, you can be set free to live your life for His Glory.