Acceptable Addictions

Well, that sounds strange… acceptable “addictions”.

Can that be right? Is this possible? For an “addiction” to be acceptable?

I’d say yes, there are addictions that most people in our society find acceptable. These are all things that in and of themselves are not right or wrong. Actually, most of them are good things created by God for our enjoyment, pleasure or benefit.

Some examples I would give are:

  • Caffeine
  • Work
  • Exercise
  • Food
  • Sleep

None of those is a bad thing in and of itself. Caffeine can give you a much-needed boost when your very tired and can’t afford to sleep. Work is necessary. God gave man work to do in the garden of Eden, and we are commanded to work heartily as unto the Lord. Exercise is profitable to keep you healthy and your body functional. Food is necessary to sustain your everyday life and provide nutrition. Sleep is essential to restore your body and allow multiple processes to take place.

However, all of these can be done and/or consumed too much. Far too much.

I just recently discovered how bad caffeine addiction can be. I’ve been drinking coffee for a very long time. And most days I drink 4-8 cups a day. Yes, that’s FOUR to EIGHT cups a day!

I had felt God tell me to take a break from coffee a long time ago (years), and I decided I should after some careful considerations and prayer.

So I got to it finally… and it was rough. Day 1 seemed fine, I was just extra tired and felt out of whack. Day 2 through 3.5 were some of the worst days I’ve gone through since heroin withdrawal. Not lying, it was that bad.

I did some research into how caffeine affects the body and I discovered it messes with your adenosine and dopamine levels as well as cortisol levels. So when you stop taking it, your body has a lot of adjustments to make to get back to regular.

Just because something is acceptable in our society does not mean it’s acceptable in God’s eyes.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:12 ESV
“‘All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be dominated by anything.”

And again in 1 Corinthians 10:23 ESV “‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up.”

If you use things responsibly and with moderation they are fine. But once something starts to have power over you, once you let it dominate you somehow, it’s become what you could call an “addiction”. Just because it’s not stigmatized like alcoholism, opiates dependency, sexual addiction or others doesn’t mean it’s more acceptable to God!

When I realized that I literally couldn’t get through a day without a cup of coffee, I realized I had given up some God-given authority over my life to caffeine and needed to remove it. To take it away and give that up to God.

I only made it 3.5 days, I am planning on fasting from caffeine for a long term of at least 30 days because I know it’s right.

What in your life is an acceptable “addiction”? What does the outside world see and think nothing of, but you know it has control of you? Has God convicted you of anything?

We all do, every one of us, they just aren’t called “addictions”.

I urge you to consider giving it up prayerfully. And see what happens.

Hope and freedom can be yours in Jesus,

R. Andrew Springer


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