Addictions are those things we do to try to numb our
pain, avoid suffering, and comfort us. Unfortunately,
addictions never heal, fill or comfort us; instead they
defile and control our lives. Unless we repent, and
without the merciful healing of God, we will inevitably
reap the personal, familial, and social destruction they
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who
comforts us in our troubles... 11 Corinthians 1:3-4
Although most of us think of drugs and alcohol when we
hear the word "addiction", we are a people
prone to a variety of substitutes for the love, comfort
and healing we seek This lesson explores the broader
subject of addiction from an inner healing point of view,
and offers understanding of the roots, which underlie
Addictive behavior is a pathological relationship to any
mood altering experience that has life-damaging
consequences. It is an international
"deathstyle," based on feelings of a lack of
worth and lived by those who believe they must achieve
and perform to be acceptable. It becomes
a way of avoiding the realities of life.
Addiction is a painkilling substitute for both legitimate
and illegitimate suffering. Legitimate suffering is
caused by emotional, physical, or circumstantial problems
in our life, Illegitimate suffering occurs when we worry
taking on burdens not required by the Lord, and tensions
inherent in performance orientation and parental
which seem to kill our pain
o Drug addiction
o Food addiction
o Sexual addiction
o Relationship addiction
o Exercise addiction
o Gambling addiction
o Adrenaline addiction
o Shopping addiction
, o Spending addiction
o Addiction to religion (rather than God)
o Addiction to misery
All of the above help us to avoid facing the realities of
Four signs of addiction
You can't stop
thinking about it
It consumes much time energy and
It becomes a
The ultimate result of any addiction is that the behavior
turns against you. That immediate pleasure and relief
eventually ends up creating more problems then you had
before the addiction.
Addictions interfere with relationships, by taking you
away from family and friends. It creates a disinclination
for intimacy, causing distance, and distrust.
Work suffers through lost productivity, lower quality
(unless it is workaholism and then everything suffers
except this area, but eventually you will burn out when
everything else in your life disintegrates, due to a
total lack of balance in your life.
Finances suffer due to supporting your addiction.
Psychological health suffers due to irritability,
defensiveness, loss of esteem, and confidence, guilt, and
Addictions affect judgment and behavior. You will find
foolish behavior in the area of self-centeredness, and
Physical health is affected in the areas of increasing
stress, high blood pressure, and loss of sleep, fatigue,
anorexia, bulimia, and extreme physical problems when
substances are involved.
LACK OF CONTROL
Will power is not enough. You are unable to stop
behavior despite good intentions.
We deny that the problem is out of control. We refuse to
accept that the negative consequences are in any way
connected to the behavior.
There are different types of denial
Absolute denial "No, I don't have a problem!"
Minimizing "It's not that bad."
Avoiding "I don't know what you are talking
about!" or "I don't want to talk about it"
Blaming others if they didn't always do that, I wouldn't
Rationalizing or intellectualizing "It's not as bad
as or "Be glad I don't do
An addict's rationalizations may be so convincing that it
makes us question our own perceptions. There is however,
a simple statement of fact that brings everything into
focus, and that is IF IT CAUSES A PROBLEM, IT IS A
Denial allows the addict to feel as though they are in
control. When reality invades the walls go up.
Addiction develops like an unhealthy relationship.
Stage one: Infatuation The drug or behavior leaves a
positive imprint. It provides a seemingly welcome effect.
Stage two: Honeymoon Under stress we seek out the
remembered experience for comfort and relief
Stage three: Betrayal The behavior no longer offers the
same high or comfort as before.
Stage four: "On the Rocks" Ignoring the
evidence, we try to recapture the honeymoon by increasing
Stage five: Trapped We try to resist, but the grip
tightens Romans 6:12
Addictive false belief systems
"Image" is more important than who we are.
We should be perfect. & Performance orientation and
We are not enough the way we are.
There are "Magic solutions" to life's problems,
or quick fixes.
of the addictive personality
Hypersensitivity, to criticism
Fear of rejection
Shame, and anger
Sense of powerlessness
There tends to be an absence of good coping skills, due
to the lack of good role models, and tolerant communities
Unmet emotional, social and spiritual needs:
Unconditional acceptance or love, intimacy, or
Lack of support: Broken and dysfunctional families
do our addictions do for us
A feeling of relief from isolation, and a sense of
Distraction from our negative feelings. It appears to
insulate us from despair, while actually creating more
Pseudo Pleasure- We can lose ourselves
The illusion of control and power
Constant crisis- telling us that we are alive.
Predictability- Things seem simpler, when actually we are
complicating our lives.
Image enhancement -We feel more acceptable
Suspended animation -We are frozen in time, and thus
don't need to worry.
do we look for through our addictions?
We strive to get through our addictions what
Jesus desires to give us through grace.
A sense of belonging and intimacy Mark 9:41
A sense of meaning and purpose Ephesians 2:10
Fun and creative play (Joy) John 15:11
Autonomy and potency John 14:12
Vitality and life John 3:16
Consistency Ecclesiastes 3:11
Acceptance and worth Ephesians 1:3-6
wounds and fractures common to those with addictions.
Parents can convey addictive values, such as:
"Image" is more important than genuineness. By
their actions they can send the signal that says,
delusion is preferable to reality. Another message sent
by actions could be that short cuts and quick fixes are
better than problem solving. This has been called
"Soul Murder," the squelching of the child's
true self in-Jesus Christ. These values wither the spirit
Parents sent a barrage of messages about what children
must do to please them. "Don't be angry !"
"Don't be selfish!" "Be nice!"
"Don't cry!" The underlying message
is:."Don't be yourself. Be someone who will make me
feel better, or I won't accept you." The child
learned to squelch genuine emotions and perceptions and
erect a false self, a long with hurt, anger, rage and
Parents may have offered little nurture or discipline.
They may not have given enough affection or appropriate
touch. The other area would be a lack of boundaries or
consistency in discipline. The lack of teaching and role
modeling sets up the judgments for the children to
become like their parents (1 Corinthians 12:14. This then
perpetuates generational dysfunction (sins).
Many people have more than one addiction. Several
addictions go hand in hand. Sexual addiction and
substance abuse seem to go together. Anorexia/Bulimia and
compulsive exercise tend to go hand in hand. Spending
addiction and workaholism tend to go together Gambling
and overeating tend to go together.
Getting rid of one addiction frequently forms another.
Changing behaviors does not cure an addiction.
Healing the source, or root will cure the addict.
Unhealed factors in the heart continually and insistently
resurrect sinful passions and practices which, then
source of addiction lies within us. It is
If the client is a current drug and or substance abuser
suggest to them that they become part of a 12-step
program. Alcohol and drugs are a symptom that have become
a problem. I have counseled with people who have been
under the influence of drugs and or alcohol, and have
seen pretty good results, but it would have been much
more affective if they were part of a group program as
well as receiving inner healing. Once they are sober it
is easier for them to work on the causes of the
There are some that believe the concept of addiction as a
"lifelong disease" is a myth and a hindrance to
recovery. Psychologist Dr. Stanton Peele suggests that
not only does it excuse addicts for past and present
behavior, but it actually sets them up for relapse and
retards their growth. He points out that in a society
where there are more available treatments for addictions
than any time in history, the degree of addiction and
chemical abuse is greater than ever.
it is true that genetic predisposition and physical
dependency are factors in substance abuse, the Lord asks
us to believe in Him for our healing. This does not mean
that we abdicate responsibility for our behavior and wait
for Him to make us impervious to our cravings. We are to
submit our weakness and will to Him, accept our sin and
the truth of His grace and mercy, and exercise our
ability to choose Him every day.
is the only real substitute for fleshly addiction.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 - He has made everything beautiful in
its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men;
yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning
Matthew 18:18- "1 tell you the truth, whatever you
bind on earth will he bound in heaven, and what-ever you
loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
Mark 9:41 - "I tell you the truth, anyone who gives
you a cup of water in my name because you belong to
Christ will certainly not lose his reward."
Luke 6:46,48 - "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,'
and do not do what I say? . .. He is like a man building
a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on
rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house
hut could not shake it, because it was well built."
John 3:16 -For God so loved the world that he gave his
one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not
perish but have eternal life.
John 14:12 - "1 tell you the truth, anyone who has
faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do
even greater things than these, because I am going to the
John 15:11 - "1 have told you this so that my joy
may be in you and that your joy may be complete."
Romans 6:12 - Therefore do not let sin reign in your
mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
Romans 12:9 - Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil;
cling to what is good.
II Corinthians 1:3-4a - Praise be to the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of com-passion and
the God of all comfort...
II Corinthians 12:14-Now lam ready to visit you for the
third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because
what I want is not your possessions hut you. After all,
children should not have to save up for their parents,
but parents for their children.
Ephesians 1:3-6 - Praise be to the God and Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly
realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he
chose us in him before the creation of the world to be
holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined
us to he adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in
accordance with his plea-sure and will-to the praise of
his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the
One he loves.
Ephesians 2:10 - For we are His workmanship, created in
Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in
advance for us to do.
Hebrews 12:15 - See to it that no one misses the grace of
God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and
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Site Last Updated Saturday, December 29, 2001. 11:28:33