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Jesus and Addiction: What Would Jesus Say?

Jesus is our savior and a powerful symbol of Christianity. He died for our sins and is a guiding light to the way we should live our lives.

But when we fall short, what is the result? Like a drug addict or alcoholic, you may be feeling distant from your faith or like you have let Jesus down. Is it possible to have both Jesus and addiction in your life? Maybe now is the time to lean on your faith rather than shy away.

Is It a Sin to Take Drugs?

The Bible says a lot about drinking alcohol, sobriety, and intentionally harming the body. However, it doesn’t outright address the topic of addiction because that word wasn’t used when the Bible was written.

There’s been an ongoing debate about Jesus and addiction, specifically concerning whether substance abuse is a sin and whether the Bible talks about addiction. One verse that’s often used in discussions of addiction is 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Based on this verse, we can conclude that sober-mindedness can be taken in both a literal and metaphorical sense. Either way, we know that drugs and alcohol can impair one’s judgment, which is often the reason why they’re used.

This brings us to Bible verses about alcohol, in particular, such as:

  • Proverbs 20:1: “Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.”
  • Ephesians 5:18: “Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit…”
  • Titus 2:3: “Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good.”
  • Romans 13:13: “Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy.”

Based on these verses alone, we can conclude that using drugs is a sin. As we mentioned, we’re encouraged to be sober-minded, which isn’t possible when we’re high or drunk.

Additionally, if you’re still on the fence about whether or not drug use is sinful, there's also Romans 14:23 to consider: “But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.” While this verse uses the topic of unclean food as an example (cultural detail), the wisdom of this verse – especially the last sentence – still applies to modern-day behavior.

If you’re unsure whether or not using drugs or drinking is a sin, and you go ahead and do it anyway, you’re basically saying that you’re okay with possibly sinning. Additionally, if we’re unaware of whether or not we’ve sinned, we can’t repent for it, so doing something we’re unsure if it is a sin leaves the possibility of a lack in repentance and, therefore, an overall change in character.

Will God Forgive My Addiction?

If Jesus and the addict were in the same room, how would He react? Would Jesus condemn the addict, or would he offer him guidance? As providers of Christian addiction recovery in South Florida, we strongly believe the latter, and we will prove it.

Jesus has a lot of wise words, but we think that when it comes to addiction, these are the most relevant.

  • “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinner to repentance.” - Mark 2:17 Here Jesus is telling us that he helps the sick and the sinners. We all sin, and although addiction may feel like a horrible sin, Jesus is still there. If you repent for this sin, Jesus will be there to forgive you and help save you from your sins.
  • “And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.” – Matthew 28:20 Jesus doesn’t say “unless you are an addict.” He does not have conditions. No matter how much you may have distanced yourself from Jesus or how badly your addiction becomes, Jesus will be with you so long as you accept him.
  • “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28 Jesus asks us to come to Him with our anxieties and our problems. No matter what these problems are, addiction included, if we trust in him, he will give us hope. With hope, we can find peace.

So yes, God will forgive your addiction if you ask for His forgiveness. Unfortunately, many people use religion to condemn, forgetting that God is a path to forgiveness and absolution from our sins. Jesus and addiction do not need to be at odds with one another.

In addition to forgiveness, God is also there for you in recovery. One verse we can look at is 1 Corinthians 10:13, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

Substance abuse may be a temptation that this verse refers to. Addiction is a temptation that many people struggle with, but this verse reminds us that God always provides a way out, whether that be help from friends or help from a Christian drug rehabilitation center like ours.

Although you may be feeling down and out, now is the time to rely on your faith. Our Christian residential drug rehab is designed to not only help you overcome your substance abuse problem but also to strengthen your faith during this journey.

If you are ready to take those first steps to recovery, call Faith in Recovery at 888-280-4763 to find out more about our Christian-based recovery programs.

Related Reading:
Benefits of Bible Studies for Addiction Recovery
How to Reconnect with God During Recovery