I’m Not Addicted, I Just Can’t Live Without It.


Growing up I was always the small guy. Not necessarily the short one, just the skinny one. The one who looked weird. Feet too big, shoulders too narrow, arms and legs like twigs… you know the drill.

That was me.

I would look at other guys who seemed to naturally bulk up as they got older and burn with envy. It wasn’t fair. It was so easy for them. Why couldn’t I be genetically gifted? Life would be so much better if I were just…

BIGGER.

Well, I wasn’t naturally built like a linebacker so it became my goal to shape my wiry frame into something beefier. Something I thought would be better. I started spending time in the gym when I could, trying my best to add some weight.

Before too long, I found myself living my life around my gym time and how I looked rather than more important priorities. Everything in my life centered around me and my selfish desire to be bigger, stronger, and more powerful than the next guy. My attitude was mostly negative and confrontational. I thought I was making up for the years that I had been the little guy. Now I was the strong guy. It became a high for me, seeing the gains in size and in strength. Hearing the complements and getting attention. I was addicted.

Addicted, you ask? Addicted to what? The supplements?

No.

I was addicted to myself. I was consumed by selfishness. It came to the point where not much else matter to me but me, my body, and how others viewed me. Me, me, me. Can this really be an addiction? One definition of addiction is:

…a persistent, compulsive dependence on a behavior or substance.

That summed me up. I had a persistent, compulsive dependence on working out and the attention that came from it.

Since that time, God has definitely helped me with my priorities. I still enjoy working out but it is comes after God, my family, and other important duties – like playing with our daughters. I even miss an entire week of work outs here and there.  Do I ever still struggle with image? Sometimes. But I find the more I focus on God, the less I focus on me. And the less I focus on me, the less I care about what others think about the way I look.

An addiction does not have to be the typical drug, alcohol, porn style addiction. While those get the much of the attention, there are others that will ruin us just as easily.  It could be spending.  It could be your career and your drive to make it to the top.  It could be the image you try to portray.  It is whatever you find yourself dependent on for your day-to-day life. The biggest problem with addiction is this:

Whatever you are addicted to becomes your god.

You serve it. It rules you. You do not control it, it controls you. Greed? It’s your god. Your career? Your god. Your desire for bigger better things? It becomes your god.

The first step is to identify any addictive behavior in your life and then take it to the Lord. Ask Him to purge you of these desires, to change your heart, and renew your mind. No matter the addiction – power, drugs, alcohol, image, career – whatever it is, God is able to break those chains that hold you hostage in your mind. He can and will bring freedom to your life. Then get with an accountability partner. Someone you trust that will hold you to your commitment.

Then do this. Become addicted to Jesus.

_______________________________________________________

Phillipians 4:13 – You can do everything through the strength that Christ gives you. He will see you through the toughest of times.

Galatians: 5:1 – Stand in the freedom that God gives us.  Once free, do not return to your past sins and bondage.

5 thoughts on “I’m Not Addicted, I Just Can’t Live Without It.

  1. Good post Rick. Back in high school for me it was Basketball with friends. We played, no joke, 4 hours a day minimum 7 days a week. Saturday and Sunday was nearly all day. Rain or shine. Winter or Summer. By GOd’s grace I suffered an injury that sidelined me for a significant time.

    Later in adulthood it was the gym for me too. I was always big but grew to be very heavy. I entered the gym seriously at 330lbs. Worked my way to 240lbs with 10-12 % body fat. I also worked my way to Certified Personal Trainer during that time. It was very time consuming. Not only the gym time but food prep at home and such. I had to re-evaluate my goals and set some things straight.

    I am almost ready to get back in the gym (in a spiritual healthy way) now after my Open-heart surgery.

    Keep Him first.

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  2. You know, this is so true. Even in my past life (no, I don’t believe in reincarnation – I am born again!) I found that all things that were consuming my attention, effort, and time were actually robbing me of what really mattered most in my life. My relationship with the Lord, my marriage, being a father, church involvement and ministry. It was like I was blinded. Blinded to everything else except for the things I felt mattered most – to me. As you mentioned, “I was addicted to myself”. Words like, “me”, “my”, “mine” became so pronounced in my vocabulary that I really came off as self-centered person – which I had become. The crazy thing about this, is that it can be anything. You listed good ones, that a lot of us come across. There are those hidden ones, that we don’t like to talk about. Addictions that aren’t so well known or admitted. Phrases like, “That’s how I grew up”, “That’s how I’ve always done it”, “I am not hurting anyone else”. These are admissions of some kind of addiction. There is something underlying there. The most important thing to do in these situations is to admit it. Admit to the Lord that you have these addictions. *He already knows*

    We must try to do what 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

    Essential to live the life of a warrior? You bet. Our minds must be sharp. Our will must be strong. Our purpose must be secure.

    This is definitely something, I believe we all struggle with. The reason being is there is so much to be involved in, so much to do. Our enemy’s purpose is to draw us of course. Ultimately into an ambush. However, as Christians – Follows of Christ – it is imperative that we bring everything into subjection under the Holy Spirit of God. Ephesians 5:10 says that we must be, “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord” and verse 15, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise…”

    Some of our addictions are blatant sin, some of them are just things that we have exalted above God.

    Good word RIck and thanks for sharing your experience on your blog. It is definitely good to see a God fearing Warrior on the march. Keep marching brother. Keep marching.

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    1. Most people focus on what they consider the ‘major addictions’ but cannot see how the more ‘minor’ things can hurt. If it robs us of our time with God and fulfilling His purpose in our lives, it’s a problem. If we can’t bring ourselves to quit – it’s an addiction.

      If we want to be the mighty men and women of God that He has intended, we have to be willing to pull down the strongholds in our life. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes we need help. But we can do it through the power of God and the support of other men and women of God.

      Great input, thanks Jerry!

      Like

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