Yes! You can take control! Think of this article as a guide to personal freedom.
Alcohol, power, money, food, sex, shopping, gambling are capable of causing normal appetites to become full blown addictions.
All of these cannot heal what is wrong. You need to get on the road of recovery to regain control over your life. Set out on a journey to understand what you need to do to get your appetites under control. Every human being has an inborn desire to know God but our selfish wants get in the way.
Are you unsure of how to begin a journey of healing from out-of-control appetites?
If yes, this article is for you. Your journey will not be quick and easy because change requires perseverance but you will heal.
This is a refreshing approach to addiction and temptation that offers hope for anyone whose life has spun out of control due to a cycle of self-defeating behaviors.
- Enjoy life to the fullest – The things that will fulfill our appetites are going to be diverse and varied from one person to the next. You do not need to compare yourself to anyone else to determine whether what you are doing is right. If you are seeking God first, then your appetites will be fulfilled in ways that glorify God and benefit you and others. Our appetites motivate us to seek fulfillment but they must be managed or they will lead us into a world of regret and tremendous emotional pain. If you are not feeling fulfilled, it is very likely that one of your appetites is not being fed. Take a self evaluation. Are you ready to give up your unhealthy appetites?
- Affirm that appetites are a good thing – Appetites provide foundational motivation, draw people together, sustain us physically, lead us to pleasures that enrich and fulfill, stimulate a sense of adventure and push us outside our comfort zone, drawing us closer to God. You might be struggling with the appetite for food, sex, authority and power, pleasure, work, companionship, or gaining wisdom. Having appetite for fellowship with God brings about true fulfilment.
- Avoid substitutes for what you really want – Just like fire, if we keep our attitudes under control, it will help us survive but out of control destroys everything in its path including the person. We need to be vigilant and beware of the power of the flesh. We often want to believe that the reason our appetites get out of control is that we are feeling deprived or are missing something that we think we really need. “If I had much money to pay my bills, I wouldn’t need to drink the way I do” or “If I had someone to love me, I wouldn’t be looking at this pornography”. We turn whatever we believe is missing into an excuse for our poor choices.
- Jumpstart the change process –“Private victories precede public victories. You can’t invert that process any more than you can harvest a crop before you plant it” – Stephen Covey. For a Christian, struggle with sin starts after salvation because before salvation, we did not struggle. We just gave into it. We soon realize that old habits die but they keep calling us to return back to them. Knowing that control of our appetites is possible through Christ’s power, we can launch into the process of change with confidence. Seek forgiveness from God and yourself, take responsibility for yourself (stop making excuses, stop blaming everyone else, stop believing your own lies). Nurture healthy relationships, find your purpose.
- Be aware of appetite triggers – Factors that can influence our appetites positively or negatively. Biological and physiological influences, cultural influences and pressure, peer pressure, social cues, child abuse or neglect, parental influences and learning, false beliefs tied to identity and self worth, clinical addiction, relationship patterns, spiritual influences.Never think we have due knowledge of ourselves till we have been exposed to various kinds of temptations, and tried on every side. This thought should keep us humble. We are sinners, but we do not know how great. He alone knows who died for our sins. – John Henry Newman.
I learnt these from Stephen Arterburn’s book, “Take Control of what’s Controlling you”. I’ll share the remaining five steps next week so make sure you keep visiting the site.