Sermon quotes on addiction

Russell Brand

The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help they have no hope.

My life Without Drugs, Article, The Guardian

Charlotte Brontë

I avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.

Brittany Burgunder

Recovery is hard. Regret is harder.

Desiderius Erasmus

A nail is driven out by another nail. Habit is overcome by habit.

Frederick W. Faber

Every moment of resistance to temptation is a victory.

Vincent Felitti

It is hard to get enough of something that almost works.

Seth Haines

The beginning of my sober years felt much like waking up to my mother’s song. It was a slow waking from some dreamy death spiral. And as I’ve talked to others who are in recovery from their own coping mechanisms, they’ve said the same thing.

The Book of Waking Up, Zondervan, 2020, p. 19.

Seth Haines

“[Cast] all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful” (1 Peter 5:7–8 ESV). Sober and watchful—what does it mean? To Peter, it means casting our anxieties on the Divine Love instead of medicating them with our own coping mechanisms.

The Book of Waking Up, Zondervan, 2020, p. 23.

Seth Haines

There is a way to live in the wakefulness of true inner sobriety, and it begins with proper attachment to Christ, the Divine Love, the first light of the morning.

The Book of Waking Up, Zondervan, 2020, p. 32.

Ernest Hemingway

The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.

John of the Cross

It is not the things of this world that either occupy the soul or cause it harm, since they enter it not, but rather the will and desire for them.

The Ascent of Mount Carmel, trans. E. Peers (Garden City, NY: Image Books, 1958), p. 110.

Mary Karr

If you lie to your husband – even about something so banal as how much you drink – each lie is a brick in a wall going up between you, and when he tells you he loves you, it’s deflected away.

Lit: A Memoir

Mary Karr

We’re not made to wallow in pleasure. Pleasure is joy’s assassin.”

Lit: A Memoir

Marc Lewis

I see my past drinking as a behavioral problem, a learned response to dealing (or not dealing) with emotional pain and stress. Once I achieved the excavation of my wounds, I no longer lived with the same anxiety or sense of dread/guilt and shame.

The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease (New York: Public Affairs, 2015), 16–17.

Demi Lovato

One of the hardest things was learning that I was worth recovery.

Gabor Maté

Passion creates, addiction consumes.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté

Not every story has a happy ending, … but the discoveries of science, the teachings of the heart, and the revelations of the soul all assure us that no human being is ever beyond redemption. The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists. How to support that possibility in others and in ourselves is the ultimate question.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gerald G. May

I have now come to believe that addiction is a separate and even more self-defeating force that abuses our freedom and makes us do things we really do not want to do. While repression stifles desire, addiction attaches desire, bonds and enslaves the energy of desire to certain specific behaviors, things, or people. These objects of attachment then become preoccupations and obsessions; they come to rule our lives.

Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions (New York: Harper Collins, 1998), 14.

Gerald G. May

Addiction is not something we can simply take care of by applying the proper remedy. For it is in the very nature of addiction to feed on our attempts to master it.

Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions (New York: Harper Collins, 1998), 10.

Glennon Doyle Melton

Addiction is just a little hiding place where sensitive people can go so we don’t have to be touched by love or pain.

Andrew Peterson

I am tangled up in contradictions. I am strangled by my own two hands. I am hunted by the hounds of addiction. Hosanna! 


Edgar Allan Poe

I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.

Seth Adam Smith

You can’t defeat the darkness by keeping it caged inside of you.

Mark Twain

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.


I fled the country I thought I’d leave this behind.

Song: Dreams Of Cannibalism

David Foster Wallace

“Something they seem to omit to mention in Boston AA when you’re new and out of your skull with desperation and ready to eliminate your map and they tell you how it’ll all get better and better as you abstain and recover: they somehow omit to mention that the way it gets better and you get better is through pain. Not around pain, or in spite of it.”

Infinite Jest

Warren Wiersbe

Nothing paralyzes our lives like the attitude that things can never change. We need to remind ourselves that God can change things. Outlook determines outcome. If we see only the problems, we will be defeated; but if we see the possibilities in the problems, we can have victory.

Michael Winnick

The average iPhone user touches his or her phone 2,617 times a day.

Putting a Finger on Our Phone Obsession: Mobile touches: a study on how humans use technology, 2016

Brett Hansen

We will often stop at nothing to avoid cognitive dissonance. We will twist logic, bend reason, conveniently forget facts, invent new stories, even destroy relationships—all in the name of preserving our precious illusion. We’ll sacrifice anything. It really is that important to us. This is how addictions work, and when it comes to our own need to be “right,” well, we’re all addicts who need to be set free.

The Truth about Us: The Very Good News about How Very Bad We Are, Baker Publishing Group.

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