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GLOW – Breaking Addictions

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[Music] Several years ago John ran into an old friend, Randy, with whom he had once used drugs Randy, like John and his wife Susan, had used drugs their entire adult lives, beginning around the year 1972

Susan and John had broken free in 1996; however, Randy was not so fortunate When John saw him, Randy appeared to be at death's door After a long embrace John looked into Randy's eyes, which were sunk way back into his head John watched tears welling up Randy told John how good he looked and how proud he was that John was clean and sober

John looked him squarely in the eyes and said, "Randy, you don't have to live like this" He look back at John with a perplexed look, cocked his head a little bit and said, "I don't?" No one had ever told him that before; Randy knew no other way But here's good news – no one has to live with an overpowering addiction, including you For some people their lives are a lifelong search for pain relief Pain comes in many forms (emotional and physical) and often for humans, so does pain relief (addiction)

Believe it or not, an addiction is often a coping mechanism The coping mechanisms which people use to get themselves through life come in two forms: substance abuse and people abuse, better known as substance addictions and behavioural addictions Substances most commonly abused are methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine, as well as prescription painkillers Behavioural addictions are much broader and more complex They manifest themselves in a variety of ways ranging from gambling, to anger, sexual addictions, jealousy, gossiping, media addictions, food addictions, overwork, or any other type of behaviour that people might engage in that takes them away from reality

Often, the origins of addictions can be found in childhood Although you are not aware of it, during the early years of your life, your brain was developing its own equipment and chemicals that were going to allow you to deal with life and its ups and downs If this equipment did not develop to its full potential for whatever reason (physical abuse, verbal abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and so on) you would find yourself searching for other ways to cope with life You may find yourself in this situation right now, unknowingly trying to deal with scars and emotional distress from the past You search for pain relief in a behaviour or a substance that you know is not good for you, yet at the same time it's the only thing that can bring you relief

And you say in your heart, how can anyone take this away from me? It's the only way that I can deal with life Sometimes you can't even identify the pain and the problems that you're running from, and that is exactly what makes this kind of addiction so hard to break Another type of addiction results from simply fostering your natural human lusts These addictions can form chains that bind you just as strongly as the other kind Both instances often seem like a hopeless situation

Your addiction is the habit that controls you; you don't control it The habit tells you when and where to engage in it To top it off, each time you make a decision for or against an addictive behaviour, neural pathways are formed which further cement addictions So, how do we change coping mechanisms? Or how do we break out of the ruts that are carved so deeply into our neural pathways from lustful habits? How can we, in our minds, construct a new future for ourselves To fully answer that question for each individual is beyond our ability today

Each case is unique, and much of your recovery process requires individual attention and advice I will give some resources later, but the first step, which is the same in all successful roads to recovery, is recognising that you don't have to live with addictions and recognising the source of the solution We have a Father in Heaven who doesn't want us to live our lives chained to our addictions He wants us to live free, happy, and healthful lives He wants us to learn how to leave our past right where it is, in the past

He can be our new coping mechanism He wants these things for us so much that he gave us His Son, and through that Gift gave us all the power needed to escape the chains which bind us Listen to His promise: "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're able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13) Freedom is possible and even assured! God can break the addictive cycle in your life! He is "able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him" (Hebrews 7:25) Has repeated failure taken hope from you? Focusing on your lack of ability and your failures is discouraging, but looking to God and trusting His power brings problems back to the right perspective

Look at reality for a moment The person you are most inclined to trust the most is yourself The problem is that we have proved time and time again that we don't do a very good job managing our lives To put it bluntly, we've trusted the wrong person In Proverbs 3:5, the Bible says to "trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding

" God says this for a reason He knows that our understanding is faulty, He knows that we are emotionally scarred, He knows that we are doing the very best we can, but He also knows that we need to trust Him and His ability – otherwise our hope and motivation are gone He has a new way mapped out for us, a way of systematically replacing bad behaviour with good behaviour, a way of changing those neural connections in the brain to work for good, to work for our advantage, and not to our detriment Jesus once asked a blind man, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied, "I want to see again" Boiling it all down, Jesus was asking the man if he wanted to be made well

And today that's his question for you You don't have to live this way Do you want to be made well? Do you want to look into the recovery resources at the end of this message? Do you want to stand up again and move toward freedom and peace? Only you can answer that question Specific addictions can be overcome more readily with a structured long-term plan Here are some websites that specialise in helping people overcome various addictive behaviors

Remember that God is able to save to the uttermost those who come to him through Christ! Victory is possible with faith in God, practical changes, a determined will, and effort! [Music]

Source: Youtube

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