“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, February 28, 2011

Addictions----Do you have one?

I'm baaaaack! Plus, I survived 3 months in rehab! Truth be told--I wasn't actually in rehab myself, I just worked for a dual-diagnosis substance abuse hospital. Whew, what a trip! I learned so much about addictions while I was there. Unfortunately, I couldn't handle the hours. I am not made to work 10-12 hours a day and still be a good therapist for my patients. By the end, I was *fried. Which, is a good segue into what I was going to write about today-addiction. 

Last January, I was reading the daily devotional from Lighthouse Network, Stepping Stones. That days topic was on addiction objects. The writer gave a biblical definition for an addiction. He states, "if it is something that comforts you or relieves some negative feeling, it can be an addiction object. People can find themselves obsessively and compulsively hooked on almost anything." The group I was leading discussed the devotion in depth and it personally gave me a new way of looking at addictions. The devotion challenged me further when the writer states, "When you are uneasy, lonely, stressed, etc, what do you go to first? Bingo! You found your addiction object. Next time, try to look to God first and see what He will prescribe for your pain." For the last couple weeks while I was working 55-60 hours a week, I was becoming more and more stressed. Next thing I know I'm "comfort eating." This is just what caused me to gain 30 pounds 12 years ago. As I started examining my behavior, I realized I did just what most addicts do before they relapse....I planned it in my head first! See, I told myself, "You can eat this "stuff" for now and later you can quit." (That "stuff" was anything *fried or sweet). What a lie! What also hit me was I was going to food instead of God for comfort. Fortunately, I only gained 4 pounds this time but I then again, I missed an opportunity to let God be my comfort. I decided that I am going to submit "my addiction" to God again by doing a modified fast. (See "Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough: A Guide to Nine Biblical Fasts" or "Fasting" for more information on how to fast).  

What about you? What do you struggle with...what are you going to for comfort? Remember the words of Jesus to us in Matthew 11:28, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest (NLT)." However, maybe your addiction is with drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography etc. Maybe you are at the point where you realize your life has become unmanageable and you are powerless to change. If that is you...there is hope and help.
Here are some resources for you to look into:

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