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Summary: It is time that we stand up and confess we that we are all, by nature, addictive people. It is time that we stand up and confess that our addictions – no matter what they are – are both sinful and harmful (to ourselves, those we love, and society as a

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WRESTLING WITH ADDICTION

Part 5 in Series: “Does Anybody Know, Does Anybody Care?”

Rev. Todd G. Leupold, Perth Bible Church, Sunday October 26, 2008 AM

INTRODUCTION: Let me tell you the true story of a duke who lived during the fourteenth century named Raynald III. Raynald III lived a life of indulgence and was obese. His Latin nickname was Crassus, which means, “fat.”

One day Raynald and his younger brother, Edward, got into a vicious fight and Edward planned and executed a triumphant revolt against Raynald. Edward took his older brother into custody but did not take his life. Edward decided to construct a room around Raynald in the Nieuwkerk Castle and promised his brother that he would enjoy freedom once again when he was able to leave the room.

Now for the average Joe this wouldn’t have been much of a challenge, because the room Edward built had a number of windows and a door of near-normal size. Neither the door nor the windows were locked - - they weren’t barricaded. So you’re getting the picture by now: In order to experience his freedom again Raynald needed to loose weight. But his brother Edward was no dummy, because he knew just how to keep Raynald imprisoned. Every day he would send Raynald an assortment of tasty foods. And what took place is just sad: Instead of dieting his way to freedom, Raynald grew more overweight and he stayed in that room for ten years until his brother died. But by that time his health was so awful that he kicked the bucket within a year. We can say that Raynald III was a prisoner of his own appetite for food.

So many people today are prisoners to their appetite for lust. Like good ole’ Raynald they may appear to be free, maybe even on cloud nine. They know what they like and they know how to get it. They are doing what feels good to them. But the fact is that every bite they take into the tastiness of lust only makes them more of a prisoner. When you and I indulge in a life of sin and do whatever feels good, we are anything but free. We are, according to God’s Word, slaves to sin.

(Michael Thomas , www.sermoncentral.com)

A member of Alcoholics Anonymous once sent columnist Ann Landers this confession:

We drank for happiness and became unhappy.

We drank for joy and became miserable.

We drank for sociability and became argumentative.

We drank for sophistication and became obnoxious.

We drank for friendship and made enemies.

We drank for sleep and awakened without rest.

We drank for strength and felt weak.

We drank "medicinally" and acquired health problems.

We drank for relaxation and got the shakes.

We drank for bravery and became afraid.

We drank for confidence and became doubtful.

We drank to make conversation easier and slurred our speech.

We drank to feel heavenly and ended up feeling like hell.

We drank to forget and we’re forever haunted.

We drank for freedom and became slaves.

We drank to erase problems and saw them multiply.

We drank to cope with life and invited death.

(Bits & Pieces, May, 1990, p. 18.)

It would be just as easy to replace food and alcohol in the above examples with any of a myriad of other addictions such as: drugs, medicines, gambling, lust, pornography, public recognition, work, television, Internet use, compulsive shopping, physical appearance, smoking, chocolate, etc. . . .

It is time that we stand up and confess we that we are all, by nature, addictive people. It is time that we stand up and confess that our addictions – no matter what they are – are both sinful and harmful (to ourselves, those we love, and society as a whole). It is time that we stand up, earnestly commit ourselves, and proclaim that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH – Jesus Christ truly is ALL that we need and we will neither accept nor allow any other addiction in our lives!

PRAYER

I.) DEFINING ADDICTION

Dr. Gary Collins writes: “An addiction is any thinking or behavior that is habitual, repetitious, and difficult or impossible to control.” (Christian Counseling: A Comprehensive Guide, by Dr. Gary R,. Collins, pp. 507-509)

II.) CAUSES OF ADDICTION

One of the great struggles in dealing with addiction, is for both the addict and society to better understand it in a why that will produce compassion and sympathy without enablement.

The greatest inhibitor to this may be our presumptions that, if someone has an addiction, it must mean that they are weak, extra-sinful, faulty, stupid and/or ’born that way.’

In reality, there are many and diverse factors that tempt one to seek out and embrace an addictive behavior.

Notice, I said tempt and not cause! These are legitimate factors that help us to better understand the existence and power of addiction. They are reasons, but they are not excuses. The presence of any one or even all of these factors does not compel anyone to have to embrace an addiction. At the point of temptation, there is still always a CHOICE, a choice which we must each take personal responsibility for!

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