Many Christians want to know: ”Is sugar addiction a sin?”
Having suffered from sugar addiction for over 20 years before the Lord set me free, let me share some insights from Biblical truths and my own experience.
The Definition of Addiction
Concerning the ”Is sugar addiction a sin?” question, the first thing to consider is: ”What is the definition of addiction?”
The definition of addiction is to have dependency upon a particular substance, to the point that you’ll have adverse effects when you remove it from your life.
So you depend upon that substance to get you through life.
In reviewing this definition, I also considered the definition of idolatry, as author and pastor Tim Keller defined it:
“What is an idol? It is anything that is more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.”
– Timothy Keller, author and pastor
In light of this, ask yourself a key question:
Is practicing this addiction more important to me than my relationship with God?
That’s a serious question.
For many years, I would have to admit that practicing sugar addiction was more important to me than my relationship with God.
But back in 2001 at a Christian women’s conference, God revealed His love to me in a unique way. And once I experienced God’s love, then I had a desire to know God’s word.
I wanted to know what God, as I came to know Him as my loving Father, had in mind for me!
As I started studying out His word, I discovered James 4:17:
therefore to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him is sin.”
– James 4:17
Pause and think about that.
Because I was convicted in how I was using sugar and knew it was not good, to me it was sin.
Now, I became dependent upon sugar as a little child. I was a child of a single mother, and before she went to work to leave me with the babysitter, she would leave me with money to go get candy from the corner store.
I came to associate the fact that sugar soothed the loneliness I felt when my mom wasn’t there. It made me feel better.
That association became programmed into my brain as a little child and I did not know any better. I did not become convicted that my use of sugar was not good until I became much older.
But once God convicted me that I was using sugar as a substitute for Him, then to me it did become sin.
Once God convicted me of that, then I had a responsibility about whether I was going to follow God in this matter or not.
That is the real issue.
Are you Addicted?
I want to ask you some questions to consider in your use of sugar:
- Do you use sugar as a means to soothe emotions that you don’t want to feel?
- Do you feel guilty about your use of sugar/the amount you eat?
- Have you ever tried to hide the amount of sugar you are eating from other people?
- Have you ever kept a secret stash of sugar items as a ”treat” for yourself?
Those are hallmarks of the practice of addiction. When sugar is a stronghold in your life, it is sin.
I read a quote from Christian author Beth Moore many years ago who said:
The strength of sin is secrecy. “
– Beth Moore
You Can Overcome Addiction with God’s Help
The good news in all of this is, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then He also shows you the way out of sugar addiction.
Consider Romans 6:14:
for sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.
– Romans 6:14
It’s the difference between conviction and condemnation.
Condemnation says you’re that bad and you’re not going to get any better. Condemnation comes from the enemy to keep you in bondage.
The enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy you (see John 10:10). He wants you to feel hopeless, like you’ll never change.
One of the most powerful illustrations of addiction in action is from the show, ”So you Think you Can Dance?” many years ago.
It illustrates the Spiritual reality of addiction. It will chill you:
Every time I watch this, it touches me and makes me want to cry.
I command the spirit of addiction in your life to GO in the name of Jesus and that you be healed for His glory!
Romans 12:2 is proof you can change and was such a hopeful scripture for me in overcoming sugar addiction:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
– Romans 12:2
You change through the power imparted to you by God’s grace, the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Qnce you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, the Holy Spirit came to live on the inside of you. One of the names for the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Grace!
God gives you power to overcome sugar addiction, but it requires being willing to walk out your recovery with him step-by-step and day-by-day.
As a Christian, the very basis of our faith is knowing about the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us on the cross.
Jesus is the author and He is the finisher of our faith.
Once you’ve decided that you do want the spirit of addiction out of your life and regain a right relationship with food, then pray to the Lord for His guidance:
Lord, I am so thankful that by your Spirit I am free from sugar addiction. Show me what is the next right step for me to take so that it’s not convenient for me to practice this. Show me any people around me that may be influencing me to practice sugar addiction. Show me the things that I’ve been keeping in my environment that’s made it easy for me to practice sugar addiction. And above all, show me the destructive thought patterns that I’ve had that have convinced me that it’s okay to continue to practice sugar addiction. “
In overcoming sugar addiction, you will need to examine what’s in you (your thoughts and beliefs that justify the practice of sugar addiction), who’s around you (social influences), and what’s around you (what foods you keep in your environment).
All of these things must work together in order for you to sustain change.
The Holy Spirit will give you the strength to walk out what the Lord tells you to do.
Am I saying that it’s always going to be easy? No, not at all.
Overcoming sugar addiction was not easy for me either. There were days when I had headaches and low energy when I stopped abusing sugar.
But you know what? One of the things that convinced me that I was doing the right thing was, if this substance is making me feel this bad from removing it, then it was bad from the very beginning!
I wrote an article called ”Your Sugar or Your Brain” about how there are actual physical changes made in your brain when you practice sugar addiction that are very similar to the same patterns in practicing drug addiction.
That should be proof enough that this is not a good habit for you!
One of the best things to know when you’re breaking sugar addiction in your life is knowing that you serve a good God, and His plans for you are better than anything that you have for yourself.
You have to remind yourself of that truth as walk out your recovery with the Lord’s help, day-by-day, step-by-step.”
Meditate upon Jeremiah 29:11:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
– Jeremiah 29:11
That’s the bottom line: See the vision that the Lord has something better in store for you with the sugar addiction out of your life.
Remove that sugar idol out of your life.
Knock it over, remove it, break it so that God can be first in your life in every single area because His blessings are bundled in obedience to His word.
Be blessed in health, healing and wholeness,
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. Do you struggle with eating too much sugar? If so, you are not alone!
Overcoming sugar addiction was a key factor on my journey to losing 85 pounds and dropping from a size 22 to a size 8.
In our 14-day Sugar Detox Challenge (inside the the Take Back Your Temple program), you’ll get the same success strategies and support to gain peace in your eating habits and achieve lasting weight loss success.