Overcoming Addiction Builds Character

Steve Arterburn

Be sober! Be on the alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. 1 Peter 5:8 HCSB

If you’d like a perfect formula for character destruction, here it is: Become addicted to something that destroys your health or your sanity. If (God forbid) you allow yourself to become addicted, you’re steering straight for a tidal wave of negative consequences, and fast.

Ours is a society that glamorizes the use of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, pornography, and other addictive substances. Why? The answer can be summed up in one word: money. Simply put, addictive substances are big money makers, so suppliers (of both legal and illegal substances) work overtime to make certain that people like you sample their products. The suppliers need a steady stream of new customers, so they engage in a no-holds-barred struggle to find new users’or more accurately, new abusers.

The dictionary defines addiction as ‘the compulsive need for a habit-forming substance; the condition of being habitually and compulsively occupied with something.’ That definition is accurate, but incomplete. For Christians, addiction has an additional meaning: it means compulsively worshipping something other than God.

Unless you’re living on a deserted island, you know people who are full-blown addicts’probably lots of people. If you, or someone you love, is suffering from the blight of addiction, remember this: Help is available. Plenty of people have experienced addiction and lived to tell about it . . . so don’t give up hope.

And if you’re one of those fortunate people who hasn’t started experimenting with addictive substances, congratulations! You have just spared yourself a lifetime of headaches and heartaches. We are meant to be addicted to God, but we develop secondary addictions that temporarily appear to fix our problem. Edward M. Berckman

Addiction is the most powerful psychic enemy of humanity’s desire for God. Gerald May

Character builder
Remember that ultimately you and you alone are responsible for controlling your appetites. Others may warn you, help you, or encourage you, but in the end, the habits that rule your life are the very same habits that you yourself have formed. Thankfully, since you formed these habits, you can also break them’ if you decide to do so.


  1. Hi. I am not exactly sure I am an addict so to speak, however I definatly admit to having a problem. I have always been severly depressed and when the doc gave me percs after developing back problems after the birth of my son, I discovered how the opiates took away my depression. That was 12 years ago. Today I am in outpatient treatment. I make poor choices in relationships which led to legal problems which led to probation and treatment. I do not get what I feel I need out of treatment and am trying to find faith based meetings and maybe even christian treatment should the judge feel it necessary to put me in treatment although I have been clean for several months. Can anyone help me find faith based help? I am in the Cincinnati, Oh area but am south of Cincinnati out in the country some and cant find any programs out this way other than traditional aa/na

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