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The Benefits of the Christian Religion for Addiction Recovery



In this post, we discuss religion’s role to assist you with your recovery goals. Religion gives you a sense of purpose, allows you access to a loving and caring community and helps you establish new habits. It’s not surprising to learn that many people who have truly mastered recovery award some of the credit to their religion.

12-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous actually encourage members to ‘reach out to a higher power’. Whilst this ‘higher power’ does not need to be any form of deity, for many people that’s exactly what this will be. Reaching out to a ‘higher power’ offers you guidance in your recovery by allowing you to reach out to a power that’s greater than yourself.

Reaching out to a higher power means you are not facing your recovery challenges alone.

A quick caveat

This discussion praises the role of religion when it comes to addiction recovery. However, this absolutely does not mean religious beliefs are a pre-requisite to succeeding in recovery. Countless people who identify as either atheist or not belonging to any religious group have succeeded in their recovery.

If you do not identify as religious, the last thing you will probably want to hear is that you must change your stance in this area in order to succeed in your recovery. Know that this isn’t true and we do not wish to foster this false belief by writing this article. Whilst religious beliefs can definitely help your recovery efforts, they are by no means a pre-requisite to succeeding in your recovery.

With that said, we shall now outline how religion may benefit your recovery.

How addiction can weaken your relationship with God

Addiction has a detrimental effect on all your loving relationships. This includes your relationship with your spouse, parents, children, friends, colleagues and of course God. You may even blame God for your illness and associated suffering. Addiction and religious doubts may sometimes go hand-in-hand.

Reconnecting with God may take time. As you begin to detox off drugs or alcohol and your sobriety goals become more and more insight, you will be able to spend time working through your spiritual doubts. This will allow you to reconnect with God. Together with your sobriety, this will help ‘restore you to sanity’ and give you a new sense of purpose in your life.

Your faith and the associated sense of purpose will also serve to guard you against the urge to relapse.

How to practice faith in recovery?

Below, we outline some practical spiritual exercises you may incorporate into your daily life. The below activities will assist your spiritual progression. Remember, religion is as much about what you practice as it is what you believe:

  • Prayer
  • Meditation
  • Sharing faith with others
  • Remaining teachable
  • Cherishing the little things
  • Giving thanks
  • Reading religious works

Bible verses that offer guidance and encouragement for your recovery

We now look at some specific Bible verses that may serve to assist you with your recovery. The urge to use drugs and alcohol is clearly temptation. Overcoming temptation is a central theme of all Abrahamic religions.

A significant portion of the main religious texts is given over to finding the strength and encouragement to overcome encouragement.

Below, we list Bible verses that provide valuable inspiration to overcome the temptation to use addictive substances:

1. Matthew 6:9-13

This is perhaps the most famous of all Bible verses. This is the famous Lord’s Prayer. The Lord’s Prayer is how Jesus taught his followers to pray to God.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

2. Corinthians 10:13-14

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

3. John 2:16

“For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.”

4. Corinthians 15:33

“Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

5. James 4:7

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

6. Corinthians 6:12

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.”

7. John 3:16-17

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

8. Peter 5:10

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”

9. Thessalonians 5:6-8

“So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.”

10. Matthew 26:41

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Some final thoughts

We hope you enjoyed this discussion about the positive role religion may play in your recovery. Whilst faith does play an important role in your recovery, you may still require medical treatment. This is particularly the case if you are addicted to a physically addictive substance such as opiates or alcohol. To locate a suitable treatment facility that’s local to you, contact us today on 0800 088 66 86.

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