Overcoming Smartphone Addiction – The Addiction Substitution Way
When it comes to ways to overcoming addictions the Bible presents the method of “addiction substitution” – the way of substituting a God-honoring addiction in the place of the sinful addiction! This is a Scriptural principle of overcoming addictions.
Let me explain:
The devil returned with a great strength into a heart that was “swept” and “clean” – that is what we read in Matthew 12:44-45. The words “swept” and “clean” indicate to me that the once-addicted person got rid of his sinful addictions, successfully. But the Devil came back into his life, because he continued to keep his heart empty, instead of plugging it with a nobler, non-sinful, God-pleasing addiction!
Do you want to overcome smartphone addiction? Plan a God-pleasing activity (it could be Bible-reading, prayer, fellowship, witnessing, etc) that will plug the free time that you will now have, now that you will not spend in merely looking at/touching your phone!
The same principle underpins Psalm chapter 1: Addiction to bad company can be overcome when you start to meditate on God’s Word in the free time you will now get by giving the long-hour meetings you have with your boozing/porn-watching/‘wicked’ friends a repeated miss! The same principle under girded Apostle Paul’s words in Ephesians 5:18: Those who ditch drunkenness can successfully bid bye to that addictive habit by an ongoing over-flowing experience with the Holy Spirit!
In short, we need to consciously seek to replace Gadget-delight with God-delight with! We need to purposefully seek to swap Screen-time Sweet-Spirit-time with! We need to replace, WhatsApp time “What-in-the-Word” Bible Study time!
Like Daniel we need to “resolve”/”make a deliberate choice” not to do that which displeases our Lord (Dan. 1:8). Since “evil desire” can result in full-blown “sin” as Apostle James warned (James 1:13-15), we need deliberately desire the “eternal pleasures” that comes with a life that is intimate with the Infinite (Psalm 16:11) rather than “chose” to “enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin” (Heb. 11:25). We must say, “I would rather be in the sweet presence of Jesus meditating the Word and celebrating his goodness than be with my smartphone all the time indulging in gossip-chats, sexting, porn-watching or unvarnished time-murder!” (that’s one way to apply Psalm 85:10).