How Do I Deal With My Alcohol Problem?
First, congratulations on your willingness to believe you have a problem. That means you’ve gotten past the stage where you insist, “There’s no problem, I can quit any time I want.” The Bible says, “So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12). If you’re down on the ground looking at the mess in your life and thinking, “My drinking is behind all this,” you’re already on your way to real change.
You’ve probably tried some things already to get your drinking under control, like limiting your drinking to beer, or to drinking only after five or only on weekends. Didn’t work, did it? Or maybe you tried promises and resolutions – “That’s the last time I drink too much, I swear, I really mean it.” That didn’t turn out too well either, did it? It’s time to try doing something different.
The Bible says, “The prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:15-16). That means finding people you can be honest with, people who will understand your drinking problem, and talking and praying with them about your problem. Forgiveness and strength are found in our relationship with Jesus Christ. When James mentions “a righteous man,” he is speaking of believers who are clothed in Christ’s perfection. The road to change will begin with Christ’s assurance of forgiveness.
Your best choice for people to talk with is going to be people who share your problem, people who have had a drinking problem but have found ways to stay sober. They’ll know how to encourage you, and they’ll know when you’re not being as honest as you need to be. They’re out there. You can probably think of a few already. Find them, start meeting with them regularly, and listen humbly to their recommendations. A good place to start looking for them is at your local church–start by asking the pastor whom he might suggest.
And remember what the Bible said in James – “the Lord will raise him up.” It’s true. God has healing power he will put to work in your life. Just don’t assume that that means you’ll end up without any cravings for alcohol or that you’ll be able to drink normally. “Healing” may mean the simple ability to say “no” to your cravings, or having your obsession with drinking fade away. And it’s definitely going to mean a renewed relationship with God, as you turn your problem over to him and humbly accept the help and direction he gives you through your new allies. God bless this new direction in your life!