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?
5 thoughts on “Trust: Do Not Put Other Gods Before Him”
I wasn’t thinking of my addiction to food as food being my God, but all that was said by Mira is so true. Where do I turn and to what when I am stressed and things aren’t going the way I think they should go? It is a habit that for some of us is just automatic without even thinking to go to our addiction or to find another to take it’s place. I found that if I wasn’t careful I could use games on the computer to do the same thing as my food. Turning to Heavenly Father and the Savior is so much better. They are listening and very willing to help. I am grateful for the reminder to help me remember what to do when things are going wrong.
Funny thing an addict does is believe that they are the only one. The truth is this commandment is given to everyone in the church, because everyone deals with this at some level.
My friend was at an LDS ARP meeting where he referred to the addiction as “his old friend” the missionary there just about had a conniption fit. He told him that the addiction isn’t his friend. I wish I’d been there to defend my buddy and say that to me the addiction is more than just a friend, it is a God.
We are the house of Israel. We worship idols. It isn’t right, but it is who we are. It isn’t who we can be through Christ, but ignoring the fact that the addiction has enough godly attributes to deceive even the best of us isn’t helping anyone. We become addicts because it feels good!
Nice post. Admitting the appeal of the addiction is absolutely necessary in order to be sane.
OK, well this one hit me like a ton of bricks. Wow. So when I turn to my addiction, I’m putting other gods before Him. OK then. This has triggered something in my brain that I believe will be lasting. Thanks, Mira.
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