How to Avoid Addictions

When I was younger I loved to watch a TV show called Colombo. In one of the episodes the murderer was caught because of his habit. His habit was to mark the label of the whiskey bottle with his ring and say, “Thus far and no farther.” After he killed someone, he left the bottle behind with his mark giving away it was him.

The reason this sticks in my mind is because of his habit. He had decided beforehand that he would always limit his consumption of whiskey. He had put a limit on what he would allow or not allow himself to do.

It is always good to put limitations upon ourselves especially if we are prone to addictions. You might not realize it but we all have some kind of habit or addiction that we have not kept under control.

Each addiction starts and continues with your thoughts long before it manifests into a problem. I have found that I have a habit of thinking constantly about food, it is not an addiction yet, but if I don’t get it under control it could become one.

So how do I keep my habit of thinking about food from becoming an addiction?

First I have to be honest with myself and ask, why am I always thinking about food?

In this instance it is because of my employment, being on call I don’t know where or how long I will drive each day leaving me worried there will be no time to eat. This worry causes me to eat even when I am not hungry for fear that I will get hungry.

Now that I know why I have the habit the next step is to search the Bible for help. Finding in God’s word what He says about your habit will give you solid ground to stand on when temptation comes.

In Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus explains, not to give thought to what you shall eat or drink or even your body because God feeds the birds and you are worth much more than the birds. Then in verses 31-34 He says “Do not then, say, ‘What shall we eat?’ Or ‘What shall we drink?’ Or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your Heavenly Father knows that you need these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things will be added to you.” And Psalms 31:14&15 says, “But as for me, I trust in Thee O Lord, I say Thou art my God. My times are in Thy hand;”

These verses tell me not to worry about when I will eat, because if I put my thoughts on His kingdom then He will provide what I have need of, which in this case is time to eat when I am hungry.

Next comes the hard part, trust!

Now that I have a promise from God that my time is in His hands and that He cares about me more than the birds, it’s up to me to believe it and live out that belief! It’s up to me to take that thought of being hungry captive and believe that God knows and will provide the time I need. It’s up to me to make that mark and say, “Thus far and no farther.”

Father, Thank you for the truth you show me in your word that if I take the habitual thought captive it will not turn in to an addiction. Help me to make a mark and say no further.  In the name of Jesus, amen