As people trapped in obsessive behaviors, our lives are full of contradiction. We know in our hearts that our actions are destroying our lives, but we don’t know any other way to live. Letting instant gratification control us and then justifying our behaviors is a kind of insanity that we are comfortable with. We feel compelled to feed our urges even when we don’t want to; we continuously struggle with doing the same things—long past the moment when they brought us satisfaction.
This pattern clearly shows the depth our obsessions. We can’t stop what we’re doing even to save relationships, health or finances. In fact, our behaviors confuse us; it baffles us that we actually keep doing what we know is wrong.
That is the essence of powerlessness over our behaviors.
This puzzle proves just how out-of-control our lives really are. Whether it is something like a chemical addiction, relational dependency, gossip, or overindulgence in social media, we know “trigger situations” will tempt our choices. Still, we continue to be exposed to those situations and we fall over and over again. Our addictive behavior seems to own us, even though it tears us apart. Our mind rationalizes the contradictions, recalling the highs—rather than the lows—of our obsessions. It drives us back to the actions that give momentary pleasure, but endless pain.
Changing our patterns is possible and the first step is just accepting and acknowledging that we are powerless. That’s all we have to do to get started. God will lead us through the rest.
—————————— Spiritual Connection ——————————
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Romans 7:15
I am powerless over my compulsions but through Jesus I can claim victory over every problem in my life.
God, this verse makes me realize how I am not the only one who continues to do the things I hate. In Jesus’ name please give me the conviction to break out of those patterns and do something different.
—————————— Thinking It Through ——————————
- What things do you continue to do that you really hate? Be specific.
- What is satisfying about your compulsions?
- For each item in your list from Question 1, identify a reason you originally got satisfaction from it.
- For each item in the list, identify why you now hate it.
- Consider how acknowledging that you are powerless over these behaviors helps!
—————————— Sing About It ——————————