People get addicted to things like the internet, gaming, rage, alcohol, non-stop television viewing, social media, drugs, pornography, food, sex, power and more, for many reasons.
The common reason is that we are human “separated from God and his life“ and as a result we find ourselves out of control in a lot of ways.
But, first, let’s look simply at some of the specific forces that drive an addiction. The kind of environment that people grow up in can be a big cause and effect for these things.
Some people seem to have a particular genetic makeup that is prone to addiction toward a certain substance, such as food or alcohol.
People who are injured by significant relationships or grow up in families where certain relational and life patterns are “caught” and modeled may not develop the coping skills needed to deal with hurts and injuries.
Some turn to an addiction to medicate their pain or or express their pain.
They self medicate, and sadly, many…. self-counsel .
Some people’s emotional makeup and dynamics can make them susceptible toward an addiction. Dr. Steve Arteburn, a humble and wise Christian counselor has a good look at 9 reasons or dynamics that I feel are a fair look at why this happens that I’ll share.
These dynamics include:
- An internal sense of relational isolation and alienation, resulting in loneliness and a hunger for love.
- A sense of powerlessness in life, and being controlled by others, circumstances, and forces bigger than themselves.
- Inability to gain mastery and an ability to cope with and thus develop a sense of personal power that is adequate to deal with other people and life.
- Feelings of shame, guilt, “badness,” or failure, or other ways of feeling bad about themselves.
- Unresolved losses and failures and the inability to deal with them.
- Unresolved trauma, hurt, abuse, and pain of all kinds.
- Feelings of inferiority and inability to develop competencies in life.
- Feelings of being dominated by others and not living up to their standards.
- Difficult times in life, along with the ineffectiveness of coping mechanisms and skills.
Even though all of these can be factors in the development of addictions, they are all symptoms of another, deeper condition. It is the spiritual condition of being “alienated” from God and his life as he created us to live it.
When we are cut off from him and his life, the Bible says that we become subject to addiction.
Paul says in Ephesians 4:17-19:
“So I tell you this, and insist on it in The LORD, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.”
When we become “darkened in our understanding” and “separated from the life of God,“ then we find ourselves in a lost state, craving things that will never satisfy.
We experience a “continual lust for more.” This craving drives us to want just one more drink, one more experience, one more sexual encounter, one more pizza, one more game of solitaire, one more purchase.
The desire is “continual,” which means that it does not go away with the experience of the behavior.
This is a downward, unproductive, destructive cycle, because it causes us to become separated from God and his life, even among people who are “spiritual.”
A part of the soul is disconnected from God and His life, or from the resources and healing experiences that will meet the need in ways that are truly satisfying, the things that can truly “make a way.”
If separation from God and His life is the cause, then reconciliation to God and His life is the answer. That is how God makes a way for anyone with an addiction. He truly can set slaves free.
Humility and admitting that there is a need for outside counsel to help us face the patterns fo denial and harm are absolutely essential if you want to be free and come clean about your hiding and our of control addictive patterns.
In all honesty, addicts often justify their reasons for why they “have no problem” or don’t think what they are doing is harmful.
The who interact with them can often feel snubbed, dismissed, punished if they confront the addict, frustrated, and more.
The deep and longer an addiction is allowed to have dominance in the life of a believer, the further away they will push the conviction of God’s Holy Spirit.
Are you reluctant to ask for help? You’re definitely not alone. Too many of us are unwilling to admit we need help. We think it’s a sign of weakness.
But it’s really a sign of pride and self-sufficiency, both which go against the grain of a healthy dependence upon God and the power of His Holy Spirit in our lives.
Until addicts of any kind are willing to look the issue square in the eye and ask themselves why this consumes their time, and fuels their emotion isolation, outsiders such as family members, teachers, coworkers and friends can’t help them.
This must first be acknowledge before God and then accountability to a Counselor who can help the addict to not return to their behaviors that caused the addictions, must be embraced.
If this might be you, reach out to a local Counselor or Pastoral counselor or an addictions group and ask for help.
God wants to give you good things. He’s hoping you’ll humbly admit that you have needs and that you have not been honest about your hiding of addiction and blaming of others for it.
Don’t be afraid to ask others for help. Remember, God made us to relate to one another, to love one another.
“Confess your offenses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed,” James 5:16
🌸 Let’s Pray Now For Forgiveness and Strength 🌸
I trust in you today.
I thank you that you keep turning the pages of my life. Everyday you give me a new beginning.
Help me to ride each new wave of temptation, and to overcome the things that can drag my life down.
I admit that I have allowed pride to hold me back from asking for help from others and that I think that I can dismiss my behaviors and addictions and counsel myself.
I realize that this is not only a form of deep denial, bit that I am also denying you access into my deepest needs and hurts.
Please help me. Please forgive me.
Forgive me for blaming others for the mess that I have made of things through my own my choices, procrastination, actions and words.
I am sad beyond words.
As I look to you, I declare your promise of freedom over my life.
In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©
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Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the USA and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.