Black Magic in a Cup

This entry is part 106 of 109 in the series Holiness Matters
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

I like the smell of it, but I don’t partake. Some people can’t start their day with at least a pot. And others never stop throughout the day. Everyone has their favorite blend, flavor, or coffee shop. Whether it’s Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts, these places make a lot of money on many people’s morning rituals.

Coffee is a big deal for most people. But that’s not the only venue for caffeine. I don’t know too many people who don’t have soda, at least every once in a while. And these aren’t the only ways to take in caffeine.

Some people might think I’m just picking at little things as I talk about holiness and addictions. But as you read on, you’ll find caffeine is squarely within the realm of possibilities. It’s just one of those addictions that almost everyone is struggling with.

Not a Big Deal

Most people don’t even flinch when I talk about how much coffee or soda is consumed by a person per day. That alone makes it an addiction we must consider. But for most of the world, especially in America, caffeine is not considered an addiction.

Caffeine is one of the most popular drugs in America. Most people don’t think about it that way. But it is a drug. More than that, it is one of the most addictive drugs we have. It can be dangerous to your body if consumed in large quantities.

Socially, it is one of the most acceptable addictions. Because everyone is doing it, no one will call you on your caffeine addictions. We make coffee shops that are conducive to socially drinking caffeine beverages.

I know I make it sound like a sinister drug, but that is what it’s become. I am not against caffeine. I consume it myself. Although not a coffee drinker, I love tea and soda. I don’t drink them as often now that I’m paralyzed, but I still enjoy them.

In smaller quantities, there is nothing wrong with caffeine. It can help with alertness. But we have made it such a small issue that it’s become dangerous in our culture. And if you think it’s not a problem for you, try cutting back or stopping it altogether. You will find it acts like a drug in its withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal

Caffeine reacts like any other addictive drug. If you have too much of it running through your system regularly, you will find it very hard to stop consuming the same amount. Even reducing your caffeine intake by too much at once will cause you great pains.

When I was in Bible College, I had a friend who felt convicted about how much Mountain Dew he drank in one day. He decided to quit cold turkey. We didn’t see him for a couple of days, and when we checked in on him, he had some of the symptoms anyone who does harder drugs has.

Caffeine is just as bad as any other drug when it comes to withdrawal. I’m glad to say my friend was able to reduce his regular intake of caffeine. But there’s a valuable lesson to be learned. Just because society and our culture doesn’t consider it a problem doesn’t mean addiction to caffeine isn’t a problem.

As I have said before, if you don’t think you’re addicted to caffeine, try stopping it completely. You will find how much your body craves the caffeine it is used to having. Like any other addiction, caffeine remains an issue you must consider in prayer and Bible study. Don’t let it get out of control.

Why It Matters

Caffeine addiction may not matter to society, but it matters to God. The Bible lays down principles on how to deal with addictions of all kinds. Caffeine falls under the category of principles for addictions in Scripture.

The first principle you will notice in the Bible is one that I continue to bring up. Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). The Holy Spirit cares about the place he dwells. Just as we don’t want to have homes that are filthy or disorganized on the inside or the outside, so the Holy Spirit desires a clean house to dwell in.

He cares about our health and the things we put in our bodies. When we have an excess of anything in our lives, the Bible considers it dangerous to us. We need to live a balanced life. If our bodies cannot function without copious amounts of caffeine, the Holy Spirit may address this as one of the issues we must confront to grow in holiness.

Another biblical principle concerning addiction to caffeine is that we must not allow anything to master us or control us. Jesus tells us that we cannot serve two masters (Luke 16:13). In the context of Luke 16 Jesus is referring to money. But this principle applies across the board.

If anything controls you, it masters you. Jesus is our only Lord and Master. Nothing else in her life can compete with him. In extreme cases caffeine can control a person just as much as any other drug. We must not allow it to have that much control.

We deal with caffeine addiction as we deal with all addictions. Other Christians may want to tell you what to do about caffeine. But it’s not their call. It’s up to the Holy Spirit to speak to you about this issue, if it is an issue of holiness to him.

If the Holy Spirit convicts you of the amount of caffeine you take in, there are steps to follow to align yourself with the Holy Spirit’s will for your life. First, begin studying the Bible for the principles and guidance of the Scriptures.

As you study the Word, ask the Holy Spirit to direct you in your understanding of addiction to caffeine. Learn everything you can about addictions and how God directs you. Then pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you with controlling your caffeine intake.

He gives you the power over any addiction to overcome it and live free from its mastery over you. You can also consider the counsel of wise and mature Christians, especially pastors and elders in your church. If caffeine is so addictive that you can’t get it under control yourself, another step is to find an accountability partner.

The biblical principles for accountability partners are that they must be someone who has wisdom from God and solid biblical understanding. They must be a Christian you trust who will not gossip about your addiction to others. They must not be someone who deals with the same addiction. And in some cases it is better to have an accountability partner of the same gender.

The final step after all of these is to obey the Holy Spirit in whatever he tells you to do. This is where your accountability partner comes into play. Telling them what the Holy Spirit expects of you gives them away to help you evaluate if you are being obedient to the Spirit.

Following these biblical steps ensures that you will grow in Christ and in obedience to the Spirit in bringing your caffeine addiction under Jesus’ control. You may stumble from time to time, but you should be getting closer and closer to the goal you and the Spirit set.

Conclusion

For many people, caffeine addiction is not such a big issue that they must be concerned about it. If you feel conviction from the Holy Spirit, you must address and conquer this addiction. Let nothing be your master or hinder you from seeking God with your whole being.

We must not follow the standards of this world. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying coffee, tea, and soda. It’s a matter of quantity. If other people notice it, you may need to consider your amount of consumption.

Whether we see addictions as big or small issues in our walk with God, the Holy Spirit gets the final say in what he wants to change in our hearts and lives. Leave a comment and describe how you would deal with caffeine addiction.

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