Addiction is typically associated with the negative, at least in my experience. But can there be good addictions? Hmmm 🤔.
This question was posed to me by some young peeps, one of whom is my ten year old son.
Naturally, I asked for examples of good addictions. They thought 🤔 about it for a minute. “What about God, church, prayer, the Bible?”, they blurted.
Wow, what deep thinkers! I had never considered addiction from a positive perspective.
Addiction is defined as a dependence on a thing, a person, or an activity. It’s synonymous with devotion, dedication, obsession, passion, infatuation, love, enslavement.
Based on these definitions, I totally agree with my young peeps. It is possible to have good addictions. But only if the object of our addiction is God. Our dependence would have to be solely and completely on him. We’d have to be devoted to his instructions and dedicate ourselves to obeying it at all cost.
But there’s more. Our obsessions, passions, and loves would have to be for God and what he says is right, not what we feel is right. If we can be enslaved to God in all these ways then yes, good addiction is possible. And yes, being a slave to God is good because He is a good, not a cruel master. He doesn’t leave us craving for more like addiction to indulgences. God can fully satisfy our cravings because he made us and knows how to fill up our need tank.
Here’s the predicament. While addiction to God is possible and beneficial for us, we don’t naturally gravitate towards God because of our sinful nature. In our imperfect state, we’re prone to be addicted to things, people, and activities which are harmful not helpful. We don’t instinctively choose God over a myriad of other enticements like phones, social media, beauty, stuff, fitness, food, or whatever our flesh find its pleasure in.
Even dedication to “good” things like health, fitness, and friends can be harmful to our health because it can become an obsession. Commitment to “good” things will take our focus, time, and effort off God if He is not the One we are committed to first and foremost.
So yes, we can have good addictions to God, His Word, and His ways. But it does not come naturally. We have to practice the habit of God.
Think on this.
When was the last time you dedicated time to talk to God instead of your group chats? You may obsess over how many calories you ate today and the number of times you worked out this week, but did you obsess over how much of God’s Word you consume daily to keep your whole body healthy?
And what about the people you are infatuated with? They are on your mind all day long, but have you thought about God in the last hour? You keep up with your favorite music groups and mimmick rising stars. But do you follow the God who made you and imitate him?
In the book of Proverbs chapter 4 verse 23, God tells us to guard our hearts above all else for it determines the course of our life. He knows our actions will follow our hearts’ obsessions.
If I obsess over external beauty I will devote time, effort, and resources on my outward appearance instead of liking the unique me God made.
When I am consumed with getting people to like and accept me, I will do what it takes to fit in. But if I am obsessed with the truth that God made me just so and loves me as I am, I won’t be focused on trying to win people’s approval.
If there be good addictions, it is practicing the habit of knowing God more today than yesterday. In this way, we will continually and consistently work at being completely devoted, dedicated, obsessed, passionate, infatuated, and more deeply in love with him each day.
Unlike other addictions, our addiction to God will safeguard us from all other addictions. When we practice the habit of staying connected to God, we learn how to live a disciplined life and develop self control over our insatiable human desires. Only then my young friends, are we able to resist addictions which will eventually lead to our ruin.