The second mentality I teach biblical counselors to look for in an “addict” is what I call the Consumer Mentality and is based upon Matthew 22:39-40:

And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

What is a consumer? A consumer is someone who uses up a resource completely. Sounds like an “addict” in relation to his parents, friends, money, job, etc., doesn’t it? It looks like the younger, prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32.

Since he thinks of himself as “entitled” (see previous post), naturally he wants to use up what belongs to him: everything! “Mine” is what you hear a little two year old say and that’s the precise type of thinking in the entitled addict’s brain.

To combat this way of thinking, you’ve got to teach the addict to be a giver not a taker. “Be Giving” is the mindset emphasized by Christ who gave up his divine position in heaven and his own life upon the Cross for sinful mankind. Not much else to say about giving like Christ and that is how the addict is to now live.

The transforming “addict” is learning it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35) and to serve others rather than expecting them to serve him. Instead of family members witnessing a person who is manipulative and deceitful, they begin seeing someone who is more concerned about others than self – and this occurs only by God’s grace.

One final side note: you will notice that each of the put-on mentalities have the word, “BE” in front of them. That is for this reason: only the Holy Spirit can transform the addict’s heart attitudes (Eph. 4:23, Rom. 12:1-2). The “addict” has no such thing as willpower to transform himself so it is all by God’s grace that he is being changed into the image of Christ. “Be Giving” is akin to “Be Transformed” as it is a work of the Holy Spirit as the person fills his mind with God’s Word and obeys that Word in everyday life.

-Mark (enabling counselors to look for biblical criteria when counseling addicts)