Happy Sabbath, brothers and sisters. I recently visited my doctor, who advised that my test results came back positive and I have a deadly hereditary disease. The symptoms include a heavy heart, bad mind, hatred, feeling weak, struggling to breathe and prolonged stress and guilt.
Which disease could this be? Church, do you have any idea what I was diagnosed with?
The doctor said all of us have the same disease. And so will your children and generations to come.
Every human is addicted to sin. From Bible days, we've seen examples of various characters who were addicted to someone or something, examples Noah (alcohol), David(sex), Judas, Zacchaeus(money).
But what is Addiction?
Webster Dictionary defines addiction as
1: a compulsive, chronic, physiological, or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behaviour, or activity having harmful physical, psychological, or social effects and typically causing well-defined symptoms (such as anxiety, irritability, tremors, or nausea) upon withdrawal or abstinence: the state of being addicted
an addiction to prescription painkillers
2: a strong inclination to do, use, or indulge in something repeatedly
What are you addicted to?
Opening Hymn - Hymn 393 (He leadeth me)
Scripture- 1 Corinthians 10:13
The Bible describes the human condition to us in Romans 7: 19&20 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now, if I do that, I would not; it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Because of Sin, many persons suffer from addictions. There are reasons for such addictions, and they are listed below:
Trauma - many individuals who go through addiction have been through trauma, and addiction is their way to deal with the trauma.
Mental Health - Based on research, persons who experience mental illness will likely develop an addiction.
Genetics - studies have shown that there is a 50% likelihood that your genetics influence your addiction to things such as drugs and alcohol. So yes, we can pass down bad habits to our offspring.
List some unpopular types of addiction incorporate how God's Covenant can help us to navigate all types of addiction)
There are numerous other behaviours that persons can be addicted to that may seem harmless even good.
Exercise - This is an unhealthy obsession with physical fitness and exercise. When we exercise, we release certain chemicals, which gives us a sense of pleasure or accomplishment. in part, the dependence on this type of reward can lead to addiction.
Work - Work is referred to as workaholism, and this is your inability to stop working. It is often from the need to achieve a certain status or to escape emotional stress. Work addiction is often driven by job success. It Possible causes low self-esteem and intimacy problems. Working too much can take a toll on your mental health and you are more likely to suffer depression.
Food - Highly palatable foods trigger the pleasure centre of the brain and releases feel-good chemicals. "Foodies" people who are addicted to food will continue to eat despite the negative consequences.
Technology - Technology is here to make our lives easier. From infancy to elderly, technology has impacted our lives. To narrow in on technology as an addiction, we will quickly look at two aspects of daily technology.
Social Media - this Addiction hurts mental health and relationships. Research shows that 16 - 24 years old spend at least 4hrs a day on social media. However, social media has numerous benefits, and we can see our church utilizing many of the platforms. So my question to you is, why is social media so addicting? Whenever you log on to your favourite social media apps or sites, the dopamine levels in your brain increase and these chemicals are associated with pleasure.
Smartphones - smartphone addiction is sometimes called nomophobia (fear of being without a mobile phone). How much time do you think you spend daily on your phone? Recent studies have shown that people spend up to 14 hours a day on their phones. Research also shows that people who are overly reliant on their smartphones can develop mental laziness.
Now how can we overcome Addiction with God's Covenant?
Ellen G White Steps to Christ page 47 states that:
What you need to understand is the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man, the power of decision or of choice. Everything depends on the right action of the will. The power of choice God has given to men; it is theirs to exercise. You cannot change your heart, you cannot of yourself give to God its affections, but you can choose to serve Him. You can give Him your will; He will then work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure. Thus your whole nature will be brought under the control of the Spirit of Christ; your affections will be centred upon Him, your thoughts will be in harmony with Him." - Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 47.
In Romans 5:20, Paul makes a powerful statement: "But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." His point is that no matter how much sin there is or how terrible the results of sin are, God's grace is sufficient to deal with it. What hope that should bring for each of us, especially when we're tempted to feel that our sins are too great to be forgiven! In Romans 5:21, Paul shows that although sin has led to death, God's grace through Jesus has defeated death and can give us eternal life.
At moments in history when their rebellion and unbelief hampered God's plans for His covenant people, He sent prophets to proclaim that the covenant history with His faithful had not come to an end. No matter how unfaithful the people might have been, no matter the apostasy, rebellion, and disobedience among them, the Lord still proclaims His willingness to enter a covenant relationship with all who are willing to repent, to obey, and to claim His promises.
For persons who are struggling with addictions, we advise you to seek professional help but also remember 1 Corinthians 10:13 :
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Ask a Pastor or First Elder to break addictions in the congregation.