Addictions are those things we do to try to numb our pain, avoid suffering, and comfort us. Unfortunately, addictions never heal, fill or comfort us; instead they defile and control our lives. Unless we repent, and without the merciful healing of God, we will inevitably reap the personal, familial, and social destruction they sow.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our troubles... 11 Corinthians 1:3-4

Although most of us think of drugs and alcohol when we hear the word "addiction", we are a people prone to a variety of substitutes for the love, comfort and healing we seek This lesson explores the broader subject of addiction from an inner healing point of view, and offers understanding of the roots, which underlie every addiction.

Addictive behavior is a pathological relationship to any mood altering experience that has life-damaging consequences. It is an international "deathstyle," based on feelings of a lack of worth and lived by those who believe they must achieve and perform to be acceptable. It becomes
a way of avoiding the realities of life.
Addiction is a painkilling substitute for both legitimate and illegitimate suffering. Legitimate suffering is caused by emotional, physical, or circumstantial problems in our life, Illegitimate suffering occurs when we worry over everything,
taking on burdens not required by the Lord, and tensions inherent in performance orientation and parental inversion.

Behaviors which seem to kill our pain
o Alcohol
o Drug addiction
o Food addiction
o Sexual addiction
o Relationship addiction
o Exercise addiction
o Gambling addiction
o Adrenaline addiction
o Workaholism
o Shopping addiction
, o Spending addiction
o Television
o Addiction to religion (rather than God)
o Addiction to misery

All of the above help us to avoid facing the realities of life.

Four signs of addiction


       You can't stop thinking about it

     It consumes much time energy and attention

     It becomes a "necessity"


The ultimate result of any addiction is that the behavior turns against you. That immediate pleasure and relief eventually ends up creating more problems then you had before the addiction.

Addictions interfere with relationships, by taking you away from family and friends. It creates a disinclination for intimacy, causing distance, and distrust.

Work suffers through lost productivity, lower quality (unless it is workaholism and then everything suffers except this area, but eventually you will burn out when everything else in your life disintegrates, due to a total lack of balance in your life.

Finances suffer due to supporting your addiction.

Psychological health suffers due to irritability, defensiveness, loss of esteem, and confidence, guilt, and shame.

Addictions affect judgment and behavior. You will find foolish behavior in the area of self-centeredness, and selfishness.

Physical health is affected in the areas of increasing stress, high blood pressure, and loss of sleep, fatigue, anorexia, bulimia, and extreme physical problems when substances are involved.


Will power is not enough. You are unable to stop
behavior despite good intentions.


We deny that the problem is out of control. We refuse to accept that the negative consequences are in any way connected to the behavior.

There are different types of denial

Absolute denial "No, I don't have a problem!"

Minimizing "It's not that bad."

Avoiding "I don't know what you are talking about!" or "I don't want to talk about it"

Blaming others if they didn't always do that, I wouldn't have too...

Rationalizing or intellectualizing "It's not as bad as or "Be glad I don't do

An addict's rationalizations may be so convincing that it makes us question our own perceptions. There is however, a simple statement of fact that brings everything into focus, and that is IF IT CAUSES A PROBLEM, IT IS A PROBLEM!

Denial allows the addict to feel as though they are in control. When reality invades the walls go up.

Addiction develops like an unhealthy relationship.

Stage one: Infatuation The drug or behavior leaves a positive imprint. It provides a seemingly welcome effect.

Stage two: Honeymoon Under stress we seek out the remembered experience for comfort and relief

Stage three: Betrayal The behavior no longer offers the same high or comfort as before.
Stage four: "On the Rocks" Ignoring the evidence, we try to recapture the honeymoon by increasing the involvement.

Stage five: Trapped We try to resist, but the grip tightens Romans 6:12

Addictive false belief systems

"Image" is more important than who we are.

We should be perfect. & Performance orientation and parental inversion)

We are not enough the way we are.

There are "Magic solutions" to life's problems, or quick fixes.

Symptoms of the addictive personality


Emotional numbness


Hypersensitivity, to criticism

Fear of rejection

Shame, and anger

Sense of powerlessness



Risk factors:

There tends to be an absence of good coping skills, due to the lack of good role models, and tolerant communities and societies.

Unmet emotional, social and spiritual needs: Unconditional acceptance or love, intimacy, or corporateness.

Lack of support: Broken and dysfunctional families

What do our addictions do for us

They give us:

A feeling of relief from isolation, and a sense of belonging

Distraction from our negative feelings. It appears to insulate us from despair, while actually creating more despair.

Pseudo Pleasure- We can lose ourselves

The illusion of control and power

Constant crisis- telling us that we are alive.

Predictability- Things seem simpler, when actually we are complicating our lives.

Image enhancement -We feel more acceptable

Suspended animation -We are frozen in time, and thus don't need to worry.

What do we look for through our addictions?

We strive to get through our addictions what
Jesus desires to give us through grace.

A sense of belonging and intimacy Mark 9:41
A sense of meaning and purpose Ephesians 2:10
Fun and creative play (Joy) John 15:11
Autonomy and potency John 14:12
Vitality and life John 3:16
Consistency Ecclesiastes 3:11
Acceptance and worth Ephesians 1:3-6

Childhood wounds and fractures common to those with addictions.

Parents can convey addictive values, such as: "Image" is more important than genuineness. By their actions they can send the signal that says, delusion is preferable to reality. Another message sent by actions could be that short cuts and quick fixes are better than problem solving. This has been called "Soul Murder," the squelching of the child's true self in-Jesus Christ. These values wither the spirit as well.

Parents sent a barrage of messages about what children must do to please them. "Don't be angry !" "Don't be selfish!" "Be nice!" "Don't cry!" The underlying message is:."Don't be yourself. Be someone who will make me feel better, or I won't accept you." The child learned to squelch genuine emotions and perceptions and erect a false self, a long with hurt, anger, rage and then judgment.

Parents may have offered little nurture or discipline. They may not have given enough affection or appropriate touch. The other area would be a lack of boundaries or consistency in discipline. The lack of teaching and role modeling sets up the judgments for the children to become like their parents (1 Corinthians 12:14. This then perpetuates generational dysfunction (sins).

Addictions beget addictions

Many people have more than one addiction. Several addictions go hand in hand. Sexual addiction and substance abuse seem to go together. Anorexia/Bulimia and compulsive exercise tend to go hand in hand. Spending addiction and workaholism tend to go together Gambling and overeating tend to go together.

Getting rid of one addiction frequently forms another.

Changing behaviors does not cure an addiction.

Healing the source, or root will cure the addict.

Unhealed factors in the heart continually and insistently resurrect sinful passions and practices which, then demand expression.

The source of addiction lies within us. It is "Dis-Ease"

If the client is a current drug and or substance abuser suggest to them that they become part of a 12-step program. Alcohol and drugs are a symptom that have become a problem. I have counseled with people who have been under the influence of drugs and or alcohol, and have seen pretty good results, but it would have been much more affective if they were part of a group program as well as receiving inner healing. Once they are sober it is easier for them to work on the causes of the addiction.

There are some that believe the concept of addiction as a "lifelong disease" is a myth and a hindrance to recovery. Psychologist Dr. Stanton Peele suggests that not only does it excuse addicts for past and present behavior, but it actually sets them up for relapse and retards their growth. He points out that in a society where there are more available treatments for addictions than any time in history, the degree of addiction and chemical abuse is greater than ever.

While it is true that genetic predisposition and physical dependency are factors in substance abuse, the Lord asks us to believe in Him for our healing. This does not mean that we abdicate responsibility for our behavior and wait for Him to make us impervious to our cravings. We are to submit our weakness and will to Him, accept our sin and the truth of His grace and mercy, and exercise our ability to choose Him every day. 

He is the only real substitute for fleshly addiction.


Ecclesiastes 3:11 - He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.


Matthew 18:18- "1 tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will he bound in heaven, and what-ever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

Mark 9:41 - "I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward."

Luke 6:46,48 - "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? . .. He is like a man building
a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house hut could not shake it, because it was well built."

John 3:16 -For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 14:12 - "1 tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father."

John 15:11 - "1 have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."

Romans 6:12 - Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.

Romans 12:9 - Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

II Corinthians 1:3-4a - Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of com-passion and the God of all comfort...

II Corinthians 12:14-Now lam ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions hut you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.

Ephesians 1:3-6 - Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to he adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his plea-sure and will-to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

Ephesians 2:10 - For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Hebrews 12:15 - See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

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