Q&A with Pastor Chris - How Do I Overcome Addictions?
Question: Sir, how do I get over my addictions? I have tried speaking to them but I am still tempted to do the same things. What should I do?
Answer: You’re not supposed to be talking or speaking to your addictions. You’re supposed to be speaking to yourself, not to your addictions; so, there’s where you were wrong. You can talk to your addictions all year long and nothing will change. You talk to yourself. Now, why that is very important, Proverbs 25: 28 “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” You see, the man who has no rule over his spirit, who has no control over his spirit, is like a city that is broken down and without walls, which means ‘anything goes.’ It means anything can come in – the enemy can come into that city because the walls of the city are broken down. He that has no rule over his spirit, his own spirit, is like a city that is broken down and without walls. That’s terrible, and what’s he saying? You’ve got to have rule over your spirit, you’ve got to have control over your spirit, and you’ve got to have mastery over your spirit – that’s what his telling you.
And really, if you would study from the Bible, 2 Peter, over in the New Testament, 2 Peter Chapter 1 from verse 5: “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; [I want you to notice in that verse 6 the word ‘temperance’ because I am going to go back in there] And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (Love). For if these things be in you, and abound, [That means, if they are in you in increasing measure and they remain there, he says], they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”Then he says in verse 9: “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. [2 Peter 1:5-9]” The 6th verse says “And to knowledge temperance”’ He says to you, add temperance to your life - add to your faith. When you come to Christ, you have faith; faith is given to you through the gospel. The bible says that He has given to us “the measure of faith” [Romans 12:3]. So, you receive that faith when you receive the gospel. Now he says “…add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge;” and “to knowledge temperance.” You are the one to add it!
Temperance is from the Greek word, ‘egkrateia’. It means self-control; it means ‘holding yourself back,’ the ability to restrain yourself, self-restraint, self-control. Just like what we read in Proverbs Chapter 25 verse 28, where it says the man who doesn’t have rule over his on spirit is like a city that’s broken down without walls. So, you’ve got to have rule over your spirit; you’ve got to have self-control. So, that’s what it’s talking about here.
So, you must do something. You’re not going to be talking to your addictions; you’re going to be talking to yourself. You’re going to be talking to your own spirit. You’re going to be saying to yourself – “I will not do this” and when you say [that], because you have control over yourself, you’re not going to do it. So, gain the mastery over yourself. If you lose control over yourself, you’ve got a problem. It means the city’s broken down. And the beautiful thing about this is, when you receive Christ into your life, your spirit is enabled with certain qualities, and I want to read those qualities to you. Remember what we read about temperance.
So, we go over to Galatians Chapter number 5, I’m reading to you from the 22nd verse, “But the fruit of the Spirit…,” this is the recreated human spirit, the born again spirit. He says “But the fruit of the Spirit is love”: the fruit – that means it’s there, it’s the product of the spirit; it’s the work of the Spirit. In the 19th verse it says “Now the works of the flesh are manifest,…” and it gives us the works of the flesh which means the fruits of the flesh. Then, he comes over to verse 22 and tells us of the spirit, because it’s a comparison of the spirit and the flesh. So, he comes over to verse 22 and says “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, [verse 23] meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. [Galatians 5:22-23]” Temperance - self-control - which means you’ve got it in your spirit. You cannot say “I have no rule over my spirit, I have no self-control, I can’t do this” No, no no. You can, because you’re born again. If you’re born again, he says “the fruit of the spirit is” and he tells you all of them; they’re all in there, in you – it’s a product of your spirit.
So, you say this “I have self-control and I’m going to put it to work. I have temperance and I’m going to put it to work. I can rule over my own spirit and I’m going to do it. ” So, that’s the talking you’re supposed to do, not to talk to the addictions but to your own spirit.