The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Illness) classifies and categorizes behaviors, labeling them as diseases or disorders. These diagnoses steal away your hope for the future, take away any thoughts of being “normal” again, and lock you into an endless cycle of relapse and recovery. The Bible addresses many of those same issues and gives them different names.
- Alcoholism – drunkenness
- Drug addiction – idolatry
- Overeating – gluttony
- Sexual addiction – immorality, pornea
- Gambling addiction – greed
- Intermittent Explosive Disorder – sinful anger
- Kleptomania – stealing/theft
I see the ravages of these “addictions” on individuals, families, and communities. These are the things for which you will be referred for treatment, usually to a secular program that is limited to the modification of behaviors. I know many of you have already been through treatment programs, 12-Step, and other support groups to “stay in recovery.” You really dislike the idea of ongoing meetings and the disease-ification of your behaviors. You may understand treatment programs are valuable for living with the consequences of your behaviors and are even helpful in changing behaviors on a limited basis, but they do not reach the root of your addiction. It seems there is just nowhere else to go!
What if there is another way? What if there are other options (other than recovery programs), and what if there is a possibility of truly overcoming your problem? Would you want to know about something other than the disease model?
There is a bridge that leads to hope for a person who is considered an addict of some kind. You see, I believe if you struggle with sinful addictive behaviors you will have to understand and admit you have a sin problem in order to cross that bridge and find help, healing and hope. That hope is found in Christ who came to minister to sinners and set the captives of sin (including those enslaved in addiction) free!
I have seen those enslaved to pornography, sex, prescription medication, alcohol and food – in other words, all kinds of addictions – be set free from the bondage of lusting after other gods as they begin to understand the heart of addiction. As I so often say, addiction of any kind is idolatry or worship of something or someone other than God, such as lust in the heart for pleasure, escape, and relief (1 John 2:16).
You must understand the sufficiency of the Scriptures to meet your need and the ministry of the Holy Spirit working in your heart as being enough for solving the problems life brings your way. When you recognize the heart issues that led you to those addictive behaviors and repent of them you can honestly begin to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. You will learn to live a sacrificial life of worshiping God rather than yourself. You will begin to look at your life and situations from a biblical perspective. You will learn that God is sovereign over the people and events of life and to believe that He intends to take the worst of sin and the most impossible situations and bring out of them your good and His glory.
If you are desiring a more hopeful approach to the struggles you face in life, consider visiting our parent ministry’s website, Reigning Grace Counseling Center. We have staff on hand who are equipped, experienced, and ready to help you.