(written with the assistance of T.A.C. team)
Our circumstances squeeze out what is already in our hearts. How are we dealing with stress in life? What do we do when life doesn’t go our way? Where do we go with our pain and suffering?
Answers to these questions can show us what we are trusting in for relief.
“But my situation is different. Externalities caused me to be this way today.”
That trap hidden in that line of thinking is common — some external situation caused me to be who I am now.
What happened to me is the reason I got hooked…
- I started hanging with the wrong crowd as a teenager and started with a cigarette which led to other drugs…
- I got addicted because of the way I was raised.
- Because my relative was an alcoholic, I became an alcoholic.
- Because of my ______________, I became an addict. Fill in the blank with whatever trauma, or stress, or physical injury that occurred.
- It was all because of that time I was given prescription meds from the doctor…
But at the heart of addiction is an internal problem.
It’s not the externalities but the internalities that are the key in finding out why I got addicted.
(Not the organ that beats inside the chest and pumps blood around.) But the inner desires – your intentions.
We are all guilty of living for the god of self, whether we are addicted or not.
In addiction, you are demanding that you get things done your way, now.
Sound too simplistic?
Maybe the world has tried to complicate their approach to the why’s and the how’s of addiction. Disordered circuitry of the brain, using complex sounding disease language, medication assisted treatment and therapy, self-help philosophies… and even dangerous brain surgery for addiction. But what are the success rates of these decades-old experiments on behavior control?
The freedom of our message at The Addiction Connection is that our Gracious God wants you to live for Him. It’s freeing because He wants to bless you in and through your rough circumstances. Your Creator wants to give you His answers about the heart level motivations in addiction.
Jesus, God’s only Son, wants to show you His comfort and His strength in weakness, trauma, injury, conflict, pain, loss, and all the other deep sorrows of living life on this planet.
But how does Jesus free someone from a chronic relapsing addiction?
It’s not mysterious. God has practical answers for how people change. Each one of us at The Addiction Connection has a story of when we discovered biblical counseling and how it changed our lives.
Consider these questions.
Is the Bible dead?
Is the Holy Spirit dead?
Does the Holy Spirit need what the world offers (therapy and pills, etc) as a solution in order to change your heart and bring love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?
Hebrews 4:12 says: “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (ESV)
The Bible works inside you by the Holy Spirit as you read, study, meditate upon, and learn about who God is and what He has done. It will even clarify your own thoughts and intentions.
God’s Word looks inside you and inside me and discerns for us what is being squeezed out of our hearts through our circumstances. The Bible is alive and active in our lives. God has the answers to why someone becomes addicted.
And Christianity is the only approach to addictions that says you can turn around for good. That is real hope for addiction.
Mark E. Shaw, D.Min., CABC, ACBC, IABC, CADAC II, is a biblical counselor, ordained minister, speaker, and author of over 26 books and booklets of hope and help. Dr. Shaw has been involved in counseling since the early 90’s. He served in residential care and medication assisted treatment centers (methadone), but Biblical Counseling became his passion in 2001.
The Addiction Connection is Here for You!
The Addiction Connection is a network of ministries who offer the hope of transformed lives through Jesus Christ for anyone struggling with addiction of any kind. Our network of encouraging resources, ministries, and biblical programs that stretch across America and the world will always point people to Jesus Christ and the Word of God for answers.
- Need a Biblical Residential Program? Here are some we recommend.
- Need a Biblical Non-Residential Program? Here are the ones we’d recommend.
- Here is a list of people we have trained in biblical addiction counseling through our Commissioning Program who you can reach out to for hope and help.
- Looking for biblical addiction counseling training? Find out about our Commissioning Program HERE.
- Are you a leader who wants to help those who are addicted? Check out this disciple-making curriculum we created just for you entitled Next Steps: Be TRANSFORMED.
- Looking for addiction resources, courses, curriculum? Find out more HERE.
- Are you more of a podcast-listener-while-you-get-things-done? The Addiction Connection Podcast is just for you!