Addictive Behavior: Compulsions leading to tendencies to be addicted to bad habits or bad substances

All useless habits are wasted expenditures of energy, and …should be dropped quickly and completely. A Spiritual Warrior

Habit, if not resisted, soon becomes necessity.  St. Augustine

Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of. Author Unknown 

   Many of us have some addictive behaviors. This is true because we do things that are compulsive to us; we must do them. In most cases these behaviors are undesirable as well as detrimental. Obvious examples would include dependencies on alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. However, a more complete list would include such things as over eating, binge eating, bad food in general, too much TV, caffeine, chocolate, gossiping, shopping and even sex.

  This list could include being addicted to: particular TV shows, setting in a particular chair, having things arranged in a particular order, and so forth. We even get addicted to things that are seemingly good for us, such as running and exercising. There are many possibilities as to addictive behaviors. It can be a fine line between an addictive behavior, compulsion, fetish or neurosis. Anytime we lose our ability to make conscious choices we are on shaky ground.

   Addictive habits get started because we get a degree of pleasure from doing something. Continuing to do the same thing for more pleasure can turn into compulsion, and we lose our ability to choose to do or not to do it. It has now become addictive. Some of these things are destructive, some are not necessarily so. The addiction robs us of conscious control of our actions and thought processes. Our subconscious has taken control from our conscious mind.

    Anytime we do not control of our faculties is undesirable. We find ourselves more in a passive (victim) role rather than a proactive role. We are not likely to be spending our time or our energies as wisely and effectively as we should be. In some cases we are harming ourselves. We are more like the rat in the maze than a rational and intelligent free thinking human being. We become victims to our own subconscious controlling desires and lose the ability to consciously choose. Some addictive behaviors such as smoking, drinking and drugs are even harder to get rid of due to chemical highs and “buzzes” they produce. Addictive behaviors have control of us.

    It is very difficult to break free from addictive behavior. We must be motivated, focused, and sufficiently self-disciplined to seize control from our subconscious mind. Our compulsive desires have to be replaced with more desirable thoughts and desires. New habits have to replace the old ones. If it were easy, it would not be addictive.

Challenge:  Do you want to overcome bad habits? It requires determined effort to do so. It takes focused and concentrated effort to be in control. It requires self discipline and strong motivation. Every little success helps bring on a bigger success. Every time you fail, you must start over. Be aware of your compulsions and bad habits; seize control of subconscious decisions (automatic responses). Start giving your decisions back to conscious control (self discipline). Take charge.

Wisdom: The chains of a habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.  Samuel Johnson

Spiritual: (NIV)

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matt 6:33

We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

It is difficult to overcome bad habits. God will help us do things we cannot do on our own. He does not ask us to do something that he does not give us the strength to do. Anything adversely affecting our relationship with God is a “bad habit”. It separates us from God by getting between us. As we grow closer to him, he will reveal those things in our life that are our addictions, bad habits and distractions. He helps us to overcome them.    

Prayer:  Help me to have the self discipline that it takes to overcome the bad habits in my life.

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