The term addiction means both dependence on, and the inability of an individual to stop, partaking in unhealthy practices habitually.
These may include anything such as gambling, alcohol, pornography, food, work, etc.
This “dependence” affects people across all demographics, Christian or no Christian.
Although since officially declared a disease in the 1940s, there have been various views by religious organizations. Some call it a moral defect or sin. Some call it a choice. The Christian faith however views addiction as the outcome of bad choices and poor spiritual circumstance.
Through a relationship with God, one can begin journey to healing.
- 1 What Does The Bible Say About Addiction?
- 2 What Does The Bible Say About Addiction KJV?
- 3 Biblical Definition Of Addiction
- 4 Is Addiction A Sin According To The Bible?
- 5 What Does The Bible Say About Addiction In Marriage?
- 6 What Does The Bible Say About Addiction To Drugs And Alcohol?
- 7 What Does The Bible Say About Food Addiction?
- 8 Examples Of Addiction In The Bible
- 9 What Does The Bible Say About Helping Others With Addiction?
- 10 What Does The Bible Say About Addictions Recovery And Relapse?
What Does The Bible Say About Addiction?
Although the term is not used in particular in the Bible, we can cite different part of the scriptures that talk about the subjects.
For example, we see addiction whenever the Bible talks about being “mastered by” or “slaves of” anything, or sin.
We see addiction when the Bible points out that it has the potential to take God’s place in our lives so much that we begin to give the time meant for God to it.
(PS: all scripture quotations are from the NIV unless otherwise indicated)
What Does The Bible Say About Addiction KJV?
Let us see some verses from the KJV that we can associate with the concept of addiction to things, ideas, or people.
Biblical Definition Of Addiction
According to the Bible, addiction can be defined in three ways:
- The state of being enslaved by an object, ideology or habitual activity
- Anything that we become so attached to that it takes the place of God in our lives
Is Addiction A Sin According To The Bible?
Yes, according to the Bible, to become addicted to anything is breaking away from the natural order of God for us, and this is a sin.
According to the Bible, addiction (depending on whatever) is a sin against:
- God, the creator of our bodies
- Our bodies meant to be God’s holy temple
- Our fellowship (church, for those in leadership, and ordinary members), and relationships
What Does The Bible Say About Addiction In Marriage?
Addiction in marriage is something that many partners today get to battle through regularly, whether addiction to drugs, food, pornography, and so much more. Some of these stem from premarital habits carried over into the matrimonial home, threatening some, and tearing some apart.
Does the Bible say anything about dealing with marital partners who may be addicted to something while married?
It does not specifically connect addictions to marriage. However, it does talk about older and younger married people being instructed not to be addicted to things, or being addicted themselves. One example is found in
Another example is Solomon, who being a married already was obsessed with foreign women, especially those whom God instructed the Israelites not to marry, and he just keep adding them up.
Solomon’s obsession had a negative impact not just on his life, family, or home, but also on his entire nation spiritually, physically, and economically.
What Does The Bible Say About Addiction To Drugs And Alcohol?
Although, not directly mentioning drugs, the Bible has citations where addiction to alcohol (and I believe to any related substance abuse) is condemned, especially for those in leadership positions either in the church or in the secular world.
Let’s see some of those citations below:
What Does The Bible Say About Food Addiction?
The Bible points also at some other types of addiction other than alcohol and drugs, food addiction included. Although many people do not know there is something like food addiction (gluttony), it does exists and the Bible talks about it.
Let’s see three portions of scripture that talk about addiction to food:
Examples Of Addiction In The Bible
We can find some obsession with one thing or another in the Bible which qualify as addictions. They range from references to people or instructions not to get entangled.
Let’s look at a few below
- People who were addicted to their belly (food) and carnal cravings
- Addiction to sexual immorality
- Addiction to alcohol
What Does The Bible Say About Helping Others With Addiction?
No one prepares to deal with a loved one struggling with addiction. However, when they get entangled, how can we help them.
Find below some Biblical ways we can help people suffering from addictions:
- Lead them to Jesus by showing them only a true relationship with Jesus can save
- Pray for them
- Recommend groups for them that specialize in helping addicts
- Help them avoid triggers by recommending replacements for their triggers
What Does The Bible Say About Addictions Recovery And Relapse?
Addiction recovery process can be challenging at first. However, it does not mean it is impossible. We must first understand that addiction may not disappear overnight, and the addict must learn to be patient with his or herself, and not lose faith in God while on the process to changing old habits.
The deliverance is not in you but in God, so you have to build your faith in God by constant exposure to the word of God, exercise both your mind and your body, and be intentional about forsaking the old for the new.
If you experience relapse, repent and return to God. Deliverance and recovery is much possible.
Here are some scriptures on recovery and relapse: