The heart of the addict/alcoholic is focused on self. Their thoughts, beliefs and desires are honed in on meeting their own perceived needs of escape, fun, pleasure, or whateverThe thoughts are:
- I must have relief
- I am entitled to relief
- I must escape
- I want to feel better
- I want to feel nothing
These thoughts lead to actions like:
The heart of the addict does not care how his or her actions are hurting their loves ones. They don’t care if their spouse or their kids are waiting for them at home for dinner, or at a school event. What they want is to drink or drug and that is all that is important. When confronted by their loved ones about their behavior they may express remorse and promise to change, but the love of self quickly leads them back to worship of self and back out to drink or drug. They are experts at blame shifting- If their addiction brings them an OWI it is not their fault, it is the stupid cop who pulled them over.It is the boss who ticked them off at work today and made them need a drink. It is the stress of this or that that led them to take a few pills or smoke a few joints to relax. If they get sent to jail it is the fault of the unjust legal system Their only motive is to satisfy their own desires. They are selfish and unloving toward people who love and care for them. Husbands, wives, children and parents all take a back seat to their first love, which is their substance of choice. To cure the heart of addiction, you must help them to realize that they are nothing more than idolaters. They have to see that their drinking is not the problem, their heart is the problem! The drinking and drugs are an overflow of what is in the heart (thoughts, beliefs, desires) being lived out through the body. This is key to get the counselee to understand. A good definition of idolatry is when you are willing to sin to get what you want. Are you willing to sin to get relief from pain, to be happy, or to attain any of the other feelings mentioned above? If having your felt needs met has become so important to you that you are willing to violate God’s Word to have them, then you have crossed the line from desire to worship. These questions will help the counselee to understand that the heart has to be changed before the desire to drink or drug will be affected.
Begin to admit the sin of idolatry exists in your heart. Admission is the first step, but removing the idols in your heart and life is an ongoing process. If you have struggled with idolatry for a long time, you have habits that are deeply ingrained. • Identify exactly what you want that you are not getting. Some examples would be feeling better or having a better day. • Identify if your desire is biblical and be able to support it with Scripture (in context). This is important because emotions can lead us to justify our desire for certain things. Yet feelings prove unreliable as a method of living life to glorify God. • Place your desires and wants on the altar of sacrifice to God. Romans 12:1-2 (NLT) God wants to change the way you think, which will change the way you live. Reject the thoughts of what you want and desire for each day. Begin to obey God by fulfilling the One Another commands on Scripture. Take your focus off yourself, begin to live for Christ and serve your family, church, or friends. The more you begin to prayerfully desire to include the “one another’s” in your life, the less your focus will be on indulging and worshiping yourself.