Topic: Habit or Addiction?
When is a destructive behavior a habit and when is it an addiction? We can have varying degrees of habits that more or
less have control over us. But when a destructive habit is taken to extremes, then it usually becomes an addiction, something
that one must do in order to feel calm or satisfied.
When I smoked cigarettes I automatically reached for a cigarette many times a day, but especially when I was in a stressful situation. I was addicted to the nicotine and had to go through a period of discomfort physically, emotionally, and
mentally in order to stop smoking. I never said, “I am addicted to cigarettes.” I said, “I have a bad habit of smoking cigarettes.” I believe we feel more comfortable thinking that we have a bad habit rather than that we are addicted to anything.
Did I have a bad habit or was I addicted? I am not exactly sure when a habit becomes an addiction, but I think the answer is the same. The process of healing may be more
difficult if a habit has become an addiction, but it is self- defeating to think that if we are addicted to something, we are
stuck with the problem and just cannot help doing what we do.
Addicts may feel that they have no choice in their behavior. They think they are addicted and must do what they
do. When we see something as a habit, we are more inclined to believe the bad habit can be broken. But I assure you that
whatever category your problem falls into—you can be set completely free.
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Whether the problem is biting your fingernails or a heroin addiction, the answer is still the same: God will help you! I don’t mean that to sound overly simplified, but in reality it is.
He is our Helper! Will breaking these habits or addictions be easy? No! Is it possible? Yes, absolutely yes! If you are addicted to any kind of behavior that is destructive, you are hurting and suffering and may feel trapped and hopeless, but God offers us hope in Him. You will go through suffering while you are giving up these habits and addictions, but it will be a suffering that will eventually bring joy.
When you are suffering the symptoms that go along with change of any kind, always remember: THE SUFFERING WILL COME TO AN END!