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Scripture passages for alcohol cravings

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answered 06:35 AM EST, Sat August 06, 2011
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I am a born again Christian man and I have a real problem with my drinking. Can you recommend any passages of scripture that I might read when I feel the urges to drink whiskey?

Penny Bell Says...

Penny Bell P. Bell
Master of Counselling, Grad Dip Counselling, Adv. Dip. Counselling & Family Therapy, MACA
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I'm assuming you're wanting to use the scripture verses as a deterrent to picking up a drink?  I'm wondering if you're also attending AA meetings or some other support in the way of therapy or other 12 step group meetings, such as Christian Recovery? When one is struggling with an addiction one needs the support of people as well as scripture and prayer.  One way of using scripture is to apply it to each of the 12 steps:


Step 1 We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable: There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.(Prov 14:12), If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it (Gen 4:7)


Step 2 Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity: For everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved. (Rom 10:13), And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his spirit who lives in you (Rom 8:11)


Step 3 Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.   Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matt 11:28-30)


Step 4 Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves: Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret... (2 Corinthians 7:20-23)


Step 5 Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9) Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed. (James 5:16) 


Step 6 Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character: No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. (1 John 3:9) Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1)


Step 7 Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings: Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my inequity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord" - and You forgave the guilt of my sin. (Psalms 32:5)


Step 8 Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you; leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24)


Step 9 Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others: Give everyone what you owe him; if you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if honour, then honour. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:7-8)


Step 10 Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it: Do not think of yourself more highly then you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. (Romans 12:3) 


Step 11 Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out: Ask, and it will be given you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.For everyone who ask receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened(Matthew 7:7-8)


Step 12 Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs: Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself or you may be also tempted. (Galatians 6:1)


I hope this has been helpful to you, and that you find a suitable support group near you.


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Penny Bell - Master of Counselling, Grad Dip Counselling, Adv. Dip. Counselling & Family Therapy, MACA
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