The Bible blames addiction on a hidden force within human bodies. The apostle Paul refers to this as fleshly desires, a nature that leads individuals to give into sin. Prior to the introduction of a spiritual law, this sinful nature went unnoticed, accepted as a part of life. However, when you apply biblical principles to addiction and dieting, a first century Christian makes a shocking revelation.
We know that the Law is spiritual, but I am a creature of the flesh [worldly, self-reliant—carnal and unspiritual], sold into slavery to sin [and serving under its control]. 15 For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled and bewildered by them]. I do not practice what I want to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate [and yielding to my human nature, my worldliness—my sinful capacity], Romans 7:14-15.
No matter how hard you try to do the right thing, carnal, unspiritual and worldly influences often lead people to do the exact opposite. In the passage above, the apostle Paul uses baffled and bewildered to explain his addictive actions. Like someone in need of rehab, Paul couldn’t control himself, doing the very thing that he hates. While I have never been to a detox center, I hope that these words of the apostle Paul are applied to modern clinics to help people see that addiction and dieting have a spiritual connection.
But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts]. 17 For the sinful nature has its desire which is opposed to the Spirit, and the [desire of the] Spirit opposes the sinful nature; for these [two, the sinful nature and the Spirit] are in direct opposition to each other [continually in conflict], so that you [as believers] do not [always] do whatever [good things] you want to do. 18 But if you are guided and led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the Law, Galatians 5:16-18.
Since the end of November, I have been forced to drastically change my diet due to major health concerns. As I have tried to eat right the last two weeks, I have found that my body is addicted to unhealthy food. Like an alcoholic longing for a drink, my body daily craves junk food, sugar and sweets. In the passage above, the cure to overcoming any addiction is provided. Within any decision that you make, there are two forces waging war to control your soul. The sinful nature and the Holy Spirit are like an angel on one shoulder and a demon on the other, whispering into each ear. Until individuals learn to habitually walk in the Holy Spirit, to keep in step with God’s Word, Galatians 5:25, success will be limited. However, the more you apply these principles to addictions, bad habits and dieting, God can and will transform your life.
by Jay Mankus