../On Addiction and Temptation

August 30, 2022 • 5 min


Many in our world are struggling with different kinds of addictions. In this blog, I will only focus on those that do not have physical habituation (e.g., food, porn, sex, social media, etc.). Luckily, I learned my lesson from the category of those simpler ones, which is why I am going to talk only about those.

Every addict who’s trying to overcome an addiction is aware of temptation: “To do or not to do.” On the whole, it seems very obvious - don’t like something, just don’t do it then. But then your weeks-long streak is flushed down the toilet in a matter of seconds - a relapse. Every addiction has a chain of instructions you have to follow in order to relapse. For example, let’s talk about food addiction, first, you get a temptation, then you have to stand up, go to a car, drive to the place, order, and finally, relapse. In this whole chain of events, you had to just break one link. Yet it was fully your conscious decision to go through so much effort to relapse.

This whole prelude was towards the main question: do you want salvation, or subconsciously you still find pleasure in it? I see these people all over internet forums, and they all cry about how their addiction hurts them - I am one of those people. There are piles upon piles of videos on YouTube on how to overcome addiction X. After I relapsed, I would go on the hours-long journey on the internet trying to find the “magical” “5 steps to overcome the addiction” or “simple trick to give up addiction once and for all.” But my hypocrisy would not let me see the answer that was staring in my face the whole time - if you really want to overcome an addiction, just don’t do it. There are no magical steps, there is only you and the chain of effort you decided to execute.

Stop crying about how you just can’t do it, and it’s beyond your control. I will stop. If you’re regretting it and craving freedom from it so much, then why did you do it last time? Maybe because your decision to put a stop to it was not final, and you still find pleasure in it?

It’s like stabbing your hand with a knife and not stopping. Going to the hospital and crying about how painful it is, how it damages you physically and mentally, and how you just can’t stop stabbing your hand. “It’s so bad you wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy.” It clearly hurts you, but why do you keep stabbing your hand?

Update (Sep. 27, 2022):

Recently read this quote in Bible:

My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips preserve knowledge. For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,

and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double—edge sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.

Now then, my sons, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say. Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, lest you lose your honor to others and your dignity to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich the house of another.

At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! I would not obey my teachers or turn my ear to my instructors. And I was soon in serious trouble in the assembly of God’s people.”

Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?

Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?

For your ways are in full view of the LORD,

and he examines all your paths.

The evil deeds of the wicked will ensnare them;

the cords of their sins hold them fast. For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.

— Proverbs 5

Another Quote

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it store its provisions in the summer and gathers its food at harvest.

How long will you lie there, you sluggard?

When will you get up from your sleep?

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest — and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.

— Proverbs 5

And Another

For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way of life, keep you from you neighbor’s wife, from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.

Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.

For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread, but another man’s wife preys on your very life.

Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?

Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?

So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished.

But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself.

Blows and disgrace are hit lot, and his shame will never be wiped away.

— Proverbs 6

Final Quote

Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say.

Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths.

Many are the victims she had brought down, her slain are a mighty throng.

Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.

— Proverbs 7


The quotes above are very specific, but they are analogies that apply to many addictions.

There is also the story about the “Downfall of David.” It’s a great story of temptation. When all Kings went on war quests with their armies, David decided to stay home since he already had a lot of success and trusted his generals. That morning, he saw a woman near the pool. You probably already realized how it went. He later told his general to put her husband on the front line, so he would be killed.

The analogy here is that David took a break, and things went downhill from there. Sometimes you resist temptation, and then you decide to take a “little” break. You consistently do workouts, and then you decide to take a “break.” Then you notice that you didn’t do workouts in a whole week, and it is unbelievably hard to start again. “I am just going to eat that one candy, it’s not going to hurt anyone, right?” And the whole bowl is gone.

One weakness can ruin everything.