Addictions: Substance AbusePeople with addictions are not a special class of sinners. All of us have been badly broken by the Fall and need to be saved and mended by the love and mercy of God. The root issues are the same for all of us. The path of redemption and restoration is also the same: We are all saved by grace through faith. What are addictions? Narrowly defined addictions have to do with substance abuse; a wider term for addictions, one that is Biblical, is a besetting sin. The besetting sin is the sin that “besets” us—assails us and hems us in—whenever the temptation for it comes along. Where should our focus be? On the Lord. Looking to Him we prevail! Calling on Him and clinging to Him is our “way of escape.”

Waiting in Line

Waiting for Someone to Get Tired

We hate waiting, especially waiting in lines, don’t we? I’m always looking ahead to see who might hold the line up and why. Yesterday, I read the signs right and escaped a dead-end line at the store just in time to get into one that whisked me through. It doesn’t go like that every time. Here’s a line I can’t avoid. The “prayer lines” we wait in, hoping for changes our loved ones need, can suffer long delays (somebody say amen). Today,…

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What Causes Addiction?

What Causes Addiction? (It’s Not a Chemical Hook!)

What? Substance abuse isn’t due to a chemical hook? You may have heard this all your life, but it isn’t true. There are four excellent reasons why it’s not and the first three of them are already known to most of us. Somehow, the facts don’t register like they should. Even the men in our yearlong recovery program typically come to us programmed (by culture) to believe that the substance itself was all-powerful. They should know better, they need to…

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Substance Abuse Part 2

Is It the Chicken or the Egg? (Chemical Hooks and Substance Abuse Part II)

So, tell us, which is it? Having recently posted on addictions and read the ensuing comments, I am reminded that there is a great divide among good-hearted, well-intentioned people who work in this field. The role of chemical “hooks” with substance abuse is akin to the question: “Which came first the chicken or the egg?” That will stump you! In the case of the medical community the question can be phrased: Does biology control destiny or does the inner life of…

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Substance Abuse Part 1

Substance Abuse Isn’t Due to a Chemical Hook?

Substance abuse isn’t due to a chemical hook?  That’s right, but the men in our yearlong recovery program come in thinking it is. Tragically, this gives the addiction even more power. Every lie believed adds to the inner bondage. In this case the lie is that the crack, alcohol or meth was all powerful; in comparison they had none. This reduced the struggle to a will power contest which they lost consistently. Every time the substance showed up, their body…

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