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To Those Of Us That Struggle With Addiction

June 4, 2013

“1And God spoke all these words:
2“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3“You shall have no other gods beforea me.
4“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
8“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
13“You shall not murder.
14“You shall not commit adultery.
15“You shall not steal.
16“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.””

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

A book that I recommend to those of us that are challenged by addiction is Addiction & Grace by Gerald G. May, MD (copyright © 1988 by Gerald G. May – ISBN 0-06-065536-4). My copy, which was a gift from a very kind man, is now deteriorating and I believe that I will have to get a new one. I mention the book because I believe that his premise that healing of addiction can only be truly accomplished with God as the cornerstone of that effort is unique to the psychiatric community which tends to focus on our “can do” spirit, being the “captain of our souls” (Invictus – William Ernest Henley – 1875) and is at the core of why addiction treatment will only be a “band aide” for those that do not seek God’s grace and mercy while traveling the long and painful road away from a “me” centered fixation.

I like to define addiction as the compulsive attraction to something, tangible or intangible (activities) where its relative importance far exceeds that of what it should have in our lives. This definition opens the door for us to rightly feel stronger bonds with people, activities, etcetera, than others, while enabling us to identify those things that have become excessively important.

I hope you read the Ten Commandments, which were inserted at the beginning of this piece. They are the starting point, the place I began my introspective look at my addiction. What I discovered was that I have been an addict for most of my life. I believe that I was born into the addictions because I was born thinking how important I am. This is my battleground with Satan. He wants me to be fearful that I will not get what I want. He is probably right in some cases that I will not get what I want, but I am confident I will get exactly what I need!

As I read those words at the top of this page, the first thing I noticed is that God is to be the center of all things. Having another god in His place is just not meant to be. That god, if it is you, can be a very difficult one to supplant. No idol can be more compelling then the image you have of yourself in the mirror.

A fear-based concern that revolves around our feeling that we need to receive exactly what we want will stress a person to the point of preoccupation with that item that we want to have as part of our lives or probably more correctly the center of our thoughts. It is almost as though the compulsion is a means to fill a space that should be occupied by God and the Holy Spirit. This place that is vacant is too vast to be filled by trivial elements that we routinely associate with in our journey through life. That is why when we find that little bit of distraction it soon becomes inadequate to maintain our attention, we think we need more or we think we need different, but whatever it is that we think we need it will never be enough. We need something that is infinite and timeless to fill that vacuum in our lives. We need Jesus, we need God.



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