Q: How does Jesus destroy addictions?
A: Thanks so much for writing to us with your question. You seem to understand that spiritual power is a key element in overcoming addiction—and you are right!
There are all kinds of addictions; you don’t specify which one you might be asking about, but really, they are all more or less the same process.
I am giving you a definition of addiction found in the Free Online Dictionary :
“Addiction is a persistent, compulsive dependence on a behavior or substance. The term has been partially replaced by the word dependence for substance abuse. Addiction has been extended, however, to include mood-altering behaviors or activities. Some researchers speak of two types of addictions: substance addictions (for example, alcoholism, drug abuse, and smoking); and process addictions (for example, gambling, spending, shopping, eating, and sexual activity). There is a growing recognition that many addicts, such as polydrug abusers, are addicted to more than one substance or process.”
That link is actually quite helpful. If you click on it, you’ll read a lot more about addiction—and it contains several links to even more help
There are types and levels of addiction. Some addictions are quite powerful—like addiction to physical substances such as alcohol or drugs. In these cases, I always recommend a program of the 12-Steps, originated by Alcoholics Anonymous. In this kind of program, the addict acknowledges his/her powerlessness as step one, and then surrenders control of the addiction to a Higher Power—in your case, Jesus; there’s no better “higher power” than Jesus. The aim of this program is to bring about a “spiritual experience.” The addict asks God to remove the desire for the substance, while in its place comes a dawning realization that God is doing for them what they could not do for themselves.
One of the most distressing aspects of addiction is that it paralyzes the will; it effectively removes the addict’s ability to decide another path, even though they may desperately want to change. And it also effectively leaves the addict feeling lost, weak, and at the mercy of something they don’t really want; consequently, they can feel that they have lost their own self-respect. If you are a Urantia Book reader—and I hope you are—you may have read this inspiring passage. The speaker is Jesus :
159:3.3 It is the purpose of this gospel to restore self-respect to those who have lost it and to restrain it in those who have it. Make not the mistake of only condemning the wrongs in the lives of your pupils; remember also to accord generous recognition for the most praiseworthy things in their lives. Forget not that I will stop at nothing to restore self-respect to those who have lost it, and who really desire to regain it.
And, while Jesus can be of such great help for us when we need to rise above material problems, the key to overcome any addiction comes, first, from that deep desire to regain stability and order in our lives. Once we have made that desire plain in our mind, we take Jesus’ hand and move forward. We do this through “Self-Mastery”—an element of spiritual living that is activated by the transformation of the mind through Spirit-identification. Again, Jesus speaks to us:
143:2.4 “By the old way you seek to suppress, obey, and conform to the rules of living; by the new way you are first transformed by the Spirit of Truth and thereby strengthened in your inner soul by the constant spiritual renewing of your mind, and so are you endowed with the power of the certain and joyous performance of the gracious, acceptable, and perfect will of God. Forget not—it is your personal faith in the exceedingly great and precious promises of God that ensures your becoming partakers of the divine nature. Thus by your faith and the spirit’s transformation, you become in reality the temples of God, and his spirit actually dwells within you. If, then, the spirit dwells within you, you are no longer bondslaves of the flesh but free and liberated sons of the spirit. The new law of the spirit endows you with the liberty of self-mastery in place of the old law of the fear of self-bondage and the slavery of self-denial.
This statement is a description of what happens when the addict surrenders their life into the hands of God, or Jesus. They can literally be born again—born of the Spirit . The addict receives a whole new way of viewing him-or herself—as a “temple of God,” and as “free and liberated sons of the spirit.” No longer does the addict have to try and try through self-denial, only to fail again. This new law of the Spirit triggers something deep within that allows the addict to try something different—something that really will work—if they work at it. And that’s what the steps provide: a something different which, if sincerely practiced, WILL yield positive results. And this is because these steps align the addict with the activity of God within—the Thought Adjuster—whose will is always freedom and true liberty. Relying on this inner guidance is the road to freedom
Again, for clearly destructive and dangerous addictions, a program such as Alcoholics Anonymous is the clear choice, as it provides not only the program, but it also provides for fellowship with others who are similarly afflicted. This kind of fellowship is invaluable for recovery. And—there is also a similar program called the 21-Steps to a Spiritual Awakening, which is a Urantia Book approach to recover from any kind of addiction. I highly recommend this also…
The spiritual aspect of recovery effectively renews the addict’s mind, and places them firmly on the new path of health and happiness. Thanks again for writing to us with your question. Click on any of the underlined links for more help, and more inspiration. I hope that this reply is helpful.