Are You Struggling With An Addiction

DOES THIS SOUND LIKE YOU?

Right now…do you feel like the whole world is against you? Do you feel like you are worthless? Are you struggling in your relationships with other people? Do these struggles make you want to escape the pressures of this world? Then where do you go to find relief?

Concerning the problem of alcoholism, researchers suggest that over ten million American adults struggle with alcohol related issues.[1] According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly 88,000 people die from alcohol related causes annually.[2]According to the Department of Transportation in 2014, almost ten thousand people died in an alcohol impaired accident.[3] In a 2015 article in The Huffington Post, Kelly Fitzgerald even acknowledged her own struggle with alcohol and wanted to helped others by compiling fifteen shocking statistics for Alcohol Awareness Month.[4]

Many times, those who struggle with life’s most difficult problems find an escape from their situation by turning to drugs or alcohol. Instead of finding hope in Jesus and placing their faith and trust in Him, some find their hope at the end of a needle, or at the bottom of a pill container, or at the bottom of a beer container.

WHY DO WE STRUGGLE WITH ADDICTIONS?

The reason why we struggle with any addiction is because God created human beings to be dependent by nature. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were made to be dependent upon God and each other. The Bible teaches us that God willed for mankind to be in a dependent relationship in order to find life and blessing.

But something went terribly wrong in the Garden. Adam and Eve chose to disobey God. As a result of their bad choice, sin entered into the world, causing death and destruction. Because of one person’s choice, sin effects all of humanity, including you (Rom. 3:23; 5:12).

Since God has willed for humanity to be in dependent relationships, those relationships are now cursed. As a result of sin, we struggle to get along with one another. Now, humanity strives to be autonomous, seeking to satisfy and please “the self” rather than God. Therefore, in spite of our sin, we remain dependent creatures.

ADDICTION IS IDOLATRY…

Our sinful dependence turns to other things rather than God. The Bible calls this idolatry. Anything that comes in between our relationship with the Lord is idolatry. Idolatry is loving someone or something else more than God, and it focuses on pleasing the self rather than pleasing God.

Idolatry is extremely dangerous! Why? First, because it separates us from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Second, because idolatry has the ability to take something that is considered to be “good” and turn into a demand. For example, pain killers are needed to help dull the pain of trauma. In this situation, pain killers are good. However, in a bad situation, pain killers have the potential to be abused.

Idolatry does not always manifest itself in the form of substance abuse. The manifestation of idolatry comes in many other forms: sleep, work, gambling, eating, pornography, pleasing others rather than God (fear of man), etc. Because God did not design us to “bow down” to idols, all pleasure that results from idolatrous behavior is short lived. It is only pleasurable for the moment. It may actually feel good in the moment (a payoff in the form of a high), but the consequences can be long-lasting (damage to the body; jail time). When we are captivated and ensnared by the idolatrous lusts of the heart, we will become addicted.

I THOUGHT ADDICTION WAS AN ILLNESS?

This is a common misunderstanding about substance abuse, or any addiction. Addictions do not have a known pathology like cancer or diabetes. In other words, humans have no control over whether or not they will get cancer. But we do have control over whether or not we will drink a beer or smoke dope.

In the medical world, many doctors view addiction as a disease or illness. The Medical Model theorizes that a person is predisposed to addictive behavior as a result of their genetic disposition. However, no such gene exists. There has never been the discovery of a gene that makes a person become enslaved to drugs or alcohol. The only “gene” that inclines a person to drink or do drugs is the sin nature found within every human being.

Therefore, addicts become dependent upon a substance or a particular behavior because our bodies were made to become dependent. Dependency should not result in the enslavement of drugs or alcohol. But because of the curse of sin, our tendency is to become addicted to a substance rather than God. Sin makes us dependent upon the wrong things.

NO JESUS = NO PEACE KNOW JESUS = KNOW PEACE

If we continue to live a life without Jesus, we will never know what is like to live a peaceful life. The Bible says that God has created two ways for us to live. If we choose to live for ourselves, we will experience the cursings of a hard life (Prov. 13:15). But, if we choose to live for Him, we will experience blessings. This does not mean that everything will turn into a blessing, but that all things will work together for the good, for those who love Jesus (Rom. 8:28).

The Bible also teaches one of the clearest and scariest warnings about our addictions: if you are unrepentant and continue in your addiction, you will not go to heaven (Gal. 5:21). That is why it is important that you replace your destructive behavior, with the constructive fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).

IS THERE ANY HOPE FOR FREEDOM?

The answer is yes!!! If you seek to know Jesus, then you will experience peace that only comes from Him. Therefore, a relationship with Jesus is our only hope. Instead of recovery, we need to be transformed by having a relationship with Jesus. Our ultimate goal cannot be sobriety, but salvation. The Apostle Paul tells us that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved (Rom. 10:13). And not only will you have salvation, but there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1).

A right relationship with Jesus will make sobriety not only possible, but a promise. But, this does not mean that temptations will go away. Rather, when temptations do occur, God gives us the strength and power to abstain from sinful pursuits (1 Cor. 10:13).

If you are struggling with an addiction right now…

  • Confess your addiction to God (1 John 1:9).

  • Repent of your addiction.

  • Put off the sinful deeds of the flesh (Eph. 4:22).

  • Renew your mind (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:23).

  • Put on the fruit of the Spirit that illustrates a repentant heart and become addicted to Jesus (Matt 3:18; Eph. 4:24, 5:18).

Our prayer at County Line Baptist Church is that you become addicted to Jesus by having a relationship with Him. If you would like to know how to have a saving relationship with Jesus, or need help with an existing addiction, please let us know how we can help you!!!

Further Information: If you have any questions or would like further information concerning County Line Baptist Church please contact:

County Line Baptist Church Address: 3765 HW 29 S., Ovett, MS 39464 Phone: 601-344-3098 Website: http://www.clbcovett.com Email: clbc3765@gmail.com

[1]Jack H. Mendelson, and Nancy K. Mello, “Diagnostic Criteria for Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse,” in The Diagnosis and Treatment of Alcoholism, eds. Jack H. Mendelson and Nancy K Mello, 2nd ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1985), 1.

[2]The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, accessed December 31, 2016, https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/ alcohol-facts-and-statistics; See also The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Inc., accessed December 31, 2016, https://www.ncadd.org/about-addiction/ alcohol/facts-about-alcohol.

[3]The Department of Transportation, accessed December 31, 2016, http:// crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812231.

[4]Kelly, Fitzgerald, “15 Shocking Alcohol Statistics for Alcohol Awareness Month,” The Huffington Post, accessed December 31, 2016, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kelly-fitzgerald/15-shocking-alcohol-stati_b_7010680.html.

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