Deuteronomy 5:7, “Thou shalt have none other gods before me.”
When is my addiction like another god which I am putting before the Lord? When I turn to my addiction for comfort at times of stress instead of turning to Him.
When I am stressed, what happens in my brain goes something like this:
- I feel uncomfortable/stressed/anxious, etc.
- I don’t like feeling this way. I just want the feeling to stop!
- What will make me feel better? I know!
- My old friend #$%&# (in my case, food, but you can substitute any behavior or substance).
At this point in the process, I begin to obsess about how to use my addiction to make myself feel better. Unless I do something to break the pattern, I will probably act out, sooner or later.
The Lord tells us not to put any other gods before him, and what will happen if we do (2 Chronicles 7:19-22). We will lose the blessings and privileges he has given us. I will lose the progress and recovery that I have gained if I turn to my addiction instead of the Lord.
So what can I do to break the pattern? How can I turn to the Lord when I am stressed or anxious or experiencing any other feeling I don’t want to feel?
I stop what I am doing, take a deep breath and literally turn to my right (Isaiah 41:10,13), where I imagine that the Lord is standing by my side. I ask Him to take this from me; to help me to bear this burden by giving me the strength I need to get through this situation without giving in to my addiction. I remember that he has promised that he will give me the power to do all things which are expedient unto Him (Moroni 7:33), and I make a decision to trust Him and let His power flow into me. I may have to do it more than once until the feeling subsides completely, but eventually, it will be gone and I will be grateful that I chose abstinence instead of letting my addiction win.
- What do you turn to for comfort when you are stressed?
- Are you “putting other gods before Him?”
- What could you do differently that would help you more than what you do now?