addictions

The causes of addictions can be physical, psychological, emotional or demonic and some people are more prone to addiction than others.

Addiction is anything that you cannot control and calls for critical self-analysis, objectivity and HONESTY on your part to pinpoint….. and considerable motivation and discipline to overcome. (1 Corinthians 6:12)

While it is possible for unbelievers to change their behavior and overcome some addiction on their own…… CHRISTIANS have an additional motivation and source of POWER to help them overcome addictions. (1 Corinthians 15:57)

The list of possible addictions is long and we could not cover every conceivable addiction, but below I give some thoughts on some of them.

DRUGS

substance abuse….. both legal and illegal…. alcohol, cigarettes …… as well as doctor-prescribed medication of the “habit-forming” type….. ALL THESE will result in some PHYSICAL DEPENDENCY as your body begins to REQUIRE these substances. Withdrawal will require some discomfort and unpleasant sensations in your body, but you MUST pass through this stage in order to be free.

SEX

sex makes people feel good… it is linked to pleasure…. and addiction to it can be brought on by psychological, emotional or demonic experiences.

Simple check…. you are addicted to anything over which you have not got control….  even “harmless” activity.

MASTURBATION

a source of great controversy among Christians and a “secret addiction” for thousands of them…. and it usually starts in childhood.

Masturbation occurs in 95% of all teen boys going through puberty….. and I believe the churches have failed boys, by either condemning the practice or completely ignoring it altogether.

The Christian community is divided over “sinfullness” of masturbation, but most churches teach that it is wrong….. although there is not such a direct condemnation in the Bible.

In today’s permissive society, only CHRISTIAN teen boys would experience guilt about this self-indulgence…

Christian boys going through puberty.

Can you masturbate without lust or the “aid” of pornography (Matthew 5:28, 1 Peter 2:11, 2 Timothy 2:22) ?…. Can you be praising God for the wonderful pleasure you experience in your body and thanking him for your growth and health (Ephesians 5:20) while you are masturbating ? …. then you are NOT committing a sin …. but you are definitely in the minority (because this is NOT what most boys think about while they are masturbating) …. actually, lustful thoughts and pornography are NOT required to enjoy masturbation….  but boys get “turned on” by these “extras” and use them to “power” their masturbation sessions…..  THUS establishing a LINK between the physical act and the MENTAL imagery….. this LINK (once established) is extremely hard to break…. and without some DELIVERANCE from GOD, such boys will  never be able to masturbate without sin.

BECAUSE most Christian boys feel guilty about their masturbation habit and because  there is  the danger of becoming “addicted”  is why I recommend ABSTINENCE as the better way.

but if you are already masturbating can you limit yourself ?….. or is it controlling you ? ….  is your mind free to concentrate on other activities during  other days ?

if you can go a while without it and it does not interfere with your enjoyment of other activities, then you are not addicted .

Gaining control of your thoughts  IS important….. for everybody…. all the time… whether they masturbate or not….

Disturbed sleep, soiled pyjamas (and the fear of others finding out what happened)…. seem like  good reasons to start masturbating….  and masturbating twice a week will stop your “wet” dreams…. and give you lots of pleasure.

Abstinence although good is not the end of your war, because you still have to battle many other thought attacks….. and because you sucessfully abstained today, does not mean you will abstain tomorrow.

you  REALLY need to monitor your thoughts…. and discipline your life….. and it may be easier to do if you do not masturbate….. but make your decision…. for me, I chose to masturbate and 40 years later I am NOT sorry I made that choice… but I WANT you to know that it DID contribute to sin in my life when I “let down my guard”.

Here is my advice to you… if you want to masturbate and  remain pure… during your masturbation you must focus your mind on YOURSELF…. your own wonderful body and it’s feelings to your stimulation and sensations …. this will help you avoid lustful thoughts and give you the most PLEASURE.

but be aware of these two POTENTIAL PROBLEMS (sin is always waiting at the door REGARDLESS of whether you choose to masturbate or not)

1.  IDOLIZATION of PLEASURE …. you become so “addicted” to the pleasure of your own body that you are driven to seek it more and more.

2. You are training your body in a way that will make it harder for you to have a fulfilling relationship with your future wife (because you are practicing SELF-CENTERED sex and training your body for YOUR ultimate pleasure).

Nevertheless, with the help of the Holy Spirit, you CAN AVOID such extremes (once you are aware of them) and, if you maintain CONTROL over your body (1 Thessalonians 4:4 ) there is nothing inherently sinful about enjoying the pleasure of your own body… every time you eat something that you like,  you do this… God created  pleasure and let us PRAISE HIM for it  (Psalms 34:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:18)… what we are to avoid is “living for pleasure” instead of “living for God”….  if we dont control our eating appetite we get fat and unhealthy…. if we dont control our sexual appetite then it will begin to control us and lead to both spiritually and physically unpleasant consequences.

Physical changes at puberty produce frequent erections and cause “wet dreams” (that can disrupt sleep life)…. boy’s bodies are hormone factories, putting out a lot of sexual pressure… therefore masturbation may help them deal with this…  in a GOD HONORING WAY….. because of the dangers of lust and addiction, my advice is NOT TO START MASTURBATION if at all possible…. but again, I stress this is an INDIVIDUAL choice between each boy and God… I masturbated throughout my teenage years  and  until I got married (after which, I gradually lost interest in it)…. and I immensely enjoyed my masturbation in my teenage years and believe it kept me from fornication… truthfully, I never had sex with a girl until after I married my wife, and I dont believe this would have been possible without masturbation… although I did not always succeed in conquering mental lust or in maintaining perfect self-discipline … I did not lose my relationship with God and I can only wonder what it would have been like if I had “never masturbated”, therefore it seems like hypocrisy for me to recommend to others what I was unable to achieve myself… but everybody is different, maybe you will succeed…. but if not, be assured that God still loves you and that if you love Him too, masturbation CANNOT destroy your relationship with God… so do not let anyone tell you otherwise…. together you and God will work through it, as long as YOU dont give up and abandon HIM.

may GOD Himself help every Christian boy struggling with puberty to achieve victory in their thought-life.

OVER-EATING (GLUTTONY)

What about the “pleasure” of eating ? devout Christians (and “pastors”) INDULGE themselves…. (cookies, chocolate, ice-cream and the list is endless)… without the slightest GUILT  ?…. leading to extreme obesity and possibly ill health, is God pleased with this ? …. is it not self-indulgence ?….  is it not SINFUL pleasure ? …. is it not an ADDICTION ?

Various priorities and other interests (particularly time for God) must, take precedence over our “personal pleasure” (regardless of what it may be) and …

and here is where  we discover we are  “battling an addiction”……  when we put ANY kind of physical pleasure “in charge” of our lives.

PORNOGRAPHY

What about naked people ?

Is naked pictures of people actually “pornography” or only “when they are having sex with each other” ???? …. the “boundaries” of what constitutes “porn” are as much a source of argument as the whole topic of masturbation.

desire to see people nude is not sin… particularly in children… who may be struggling with the changes in their own bodies and feeling isolated or ashamed of  what is “happening to them”…. wondering if it’s all completely “normal”.

and yet… it is a fact, that many men and boys (and even women and girls) get addicted…. they spend HOURS of their time (in secret) on the Internet… viewing and collecting thousands of photos of naked people…. even Christian people have been caught with this problem…..

So realize the deception….. and become aware that such excessive activity has NO VALUE and is a tremendous waste of a life (time that could be better spent)…. and they need to GET CONTROL OVER IT

If you cannot get control over anything…. then you need DELIVERANCE (because  such an addiction is the work of demons)…. you will need great MOTIVATION  in order to break free and STAY free of demonic addictions.

CONCLUSION

Just like drinking a glass of wine does not make one an alchoholic (but can lead to addiction to alcohol for some people)…… so too, incidental viewing of a naked person does not make one a porn addict  (but can lead to this addiction for some persons).

TOTAL ABSTINENCE from everything is the safest ideal to avoid all possible risks of anything…. but is it realistic  ?? …. it does not guarantee holiness…. for you may abstain in one thing and fall in something else….  so WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO
?

Too much fleshly interest hinders spiritual growth and development…. addictions to porn and masturbation ruin peoples lives by:

1.  “wasting” their time…. time that could be better spent doing other worthwhile things

2.  keeping them “wrapped up in their own flesh and it’s desires” to the exclusion of the growth of their character and relationship to God and their (non-sexual) relationship with fellow humans.

The joys of nakedness and masturbation are “fleshly” experiences just like eating and drinking…. and all other “bodily functions”….. they can lead to sinful activity unless they are kept under the control of a mind dedicated to God.

In my case, I withdrew from it in stages, first, I stopped photographing naked people, second, I removed photos that I had on my Flickr account, third, I stopped looking at the photos myself, and fourth (this was the hardest of all), I deleted most of the photos… why ?

1. I found that I was getting demon attacks every time I “looked”, “copied” or “used” them in any way.

2. These demon attacks kept affecting my thought life and my own sex life….  I kept coming back to the same question…. How can looking at the genitals of OTHERS possibly  benefit YOU ?…. think about it ! …. you have your own genitals for your own pleasure…. BE CONTENT…. and enjoy what God has given YOU…. and let others do the same…… NOTHING GOOD can come from watching the sexual equipment (or exploits) of OTHER people….. do you do it to make you horny ?….  well, a Seamoss drink, a Red Bull or even some Cashew Nuts will have the same effect and WITHOUT the GUILT of knowing that you have displeased GOD.

Prayer for Today:

Loving Heavenly Father, help us to truly discern what is right and what is wrong and to live victoriously for you through the power of Your Holy Spirit…. in Jesus name we pray… Amen