By: Pastor J. B. Hall
Introduction: Addictions are at epidemic proportions in today’s world. Today’s addictions include a wide array of deviant behaviors; and range from drug and alcohol abuse, to addictions to pornography, gambling, excessive shopping and spending, and the list goes on.
Addictions are serious matters; and overcoming them is serious business.
Some will say there is no cure for the addict; that once he is an addict, he will always be an addict; that he can only stay clean, or stay dry, or, in other words, maintain his sobriety throughout his lifetime.
This is false! There is an absolute cure for any addiction! Therefore, we’re not going to look at band-aid solutions, or 12-point maintenance programs. We’re going to get to the heart of the matter; and not look at getting clean and staying clean, but having that addictive bondage broken and replaced by a life of peace, and power, and freedom.
1. Definition of ‘Addiction’
A. In order to understand addiction and how to overcome it, we must first understand what it is.
B. Let’s first look at what addiction is not.
C. First, addiction is not a disease.
D. Today, we attempt to clinicalize destructive behaviors so as to rid ourselves of having to take personal responsibility for our actions.
E. We call the drunk, an alcoholic.
F. We label the over spender as having OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).
G. Second, addiction is not inherited because our parents were addicts and passed their addictive genes on to us.
H. Again, we’re always looking for someone else to blame rather than accepting responsibility for our own deviant behavior.
I. Third, addiction is not due to excessive social pressures upon us that we cannot withstand and therefore, must turn to an addictive substance or behavior to help us cope.
J. We cannot simply blame life’s social pressures for our addictive deviant behavior.
K. Addiction is a bondage that begins with a choice and/or behavior that is in excess of, a perversion of, or a rejection of, the Word and will of God.
L. Ephesians 5:18 says, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”
M. So, addiction can begin by doing or ingesting something to excess.
N. Romans 1:25a says, “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator…”
O. So, addiction can begin by perverting the Word and will of God.
P. Romans 1:28 says, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;”
Q. So, addiction can begin by rejecting the Word and will of God.
R. Again, addiction is a bondage that begins with a choice and/or behavior that is in excess of, a perversion of, or a rejection of, the Word and will of God.
2. Prevention is Better than Cure
A. Just as we must not clinicalize a spiritual problem; neither must we spiritualize a practical or clinical problem.
B. We cannot discount the pressure of personal abuse, economic difficulty, or broken relationships, and the external role they play in pushing one toward some practice or substance to anesthetize his pain.