Addiction and Recovery
A Christian View
(Borrowed: Author Unknown)
Drug, alcohol, any addiction by a member of the fellowship of a church is a heartbreaking experience for individuals, their families, and churches.
No one intentionally sets out to become a full-fledged drug addict or alcoholic. Yet despite all the warnings millions of people become addicts. Why?
Because prior to that first puff, snort, or drink, the mind has already been self deceived by thinking: “I won’t become addicted, I know when to stop or I can handle a few drinks or getting high a few times.”
But, God’s Word, the Bible, gets right to the heart of the problem by telling us what mind-altering substances do to the heart. Why? God cares about the chemical dependant person and wants the best for them.
Alcohol and drugs do more harm to an individual than what meets the eye. Hosea 4:11 says, “Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart.”
Our heart is where natural God-given emotions reside. To have ones heart taken away is to take away our desire for natural things that God has given us; like family, healthy relationships, good work, and moral ethics.
For example; a person can and will leave their family for the bottle or drugs. This is not natural; its mind boggling to say the least. If the heart was not taken away, you couldn’t pay a person enough money to leave their loved ones just so they can get drunk or high repeatedly.
God instilled in the heart of each person to love and to be loved. For example, little girls pretend to be mommies as young as three years of age because nurturing was instilled in their hearts by God. It brings pleasure to the heart to nurture a baby, but if the heart has been taken away, then nurturing becomes a burden.
It’s very difficult to reason with someone who has had their heart changed to unnatural thinking. You can point out that God, family, and work is important and that drinking or drugging is destroying their relationship in all these areas, but you will encounter friction and excuses.
Before addiction takes place, that same person would admit that drinking and drugs destroys, but after addiction takes place it’s very hard for them to see the destruction that is taking place in their life.
Since drug addiction begins in the heart, the heart is what needs to be fixed. Only God can fix an addicted heart.
Human reasoning can only go so far, but God’s Word can judge the attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
In other words, the Word of God can reveal things in the heart that we aren’t even aware of. God’s Word is spirit and truth and if our hearts have been deceived, only the truth of God’s world can undeceive it.
If a person could foresee the unnatural change that takes place in their heart before substance abuse, most people would stay far away from this heart-altering substance.
God warns us because we cannot outsmart addiction. It will change our hearts! God designed the heart, therefore He knows far above what doctors, psychiatrist, substance abuse counselors and the media know about the damage that happens to an addicted heart.
Without God, we are no match for peer pressure and the media’s constant bombardment of how it’s cool to get high.
God Loves the Addict. Someone has written “I worked in a chemical dependency program for four years and watched addict after addict try to pull their lives back together only to find that it’s much harder than they could have imagined.
No one wants to be a drug addict or alcoholic, but when we dabble in what God warns against, the inevitable will happen. Our hearts will be taken away (changed) and by the time we come to the realization of this, we are addicted and much damage has been done.
God loves the addict and wants to set them free because He desires the very best for them. He can restore the heart and bring healing to the life of the addict if the addict will turn to Him.
How does He do this? He does it through His Word. His Word is life and peace, wisdom and healing, sound and powerful. It is full of love and compassion for everyone who will run to Him.
God is into restoration and no one can restore like God. The Creator of all things can restore. He will fill the heart with what is right and good because He is the standard.
He is greater than all our problems, doubts, and fears. He is love, He doesn’t have love, He is love, and He doesn’t love us a little or a lot.
He loves with all His being. 1 John 4:8 says, ‘…God is love.’
Recognize that as human beings — addict or not — we need God because we cannot make it without Him. Find support. We all need to get involved in a Bible-teaching church and the addict is no exception.
Find a group of people to support you in your recovery — both physically and through prayer support.
Some churches have Bible-based Christian drug addiction recovery programs that can catapult the addict into a life of healing, meaning, and purpose.
If your church does not have a program such as this, consider a Christian drug treatment center or Christian drug rehab program.
Proverbs 4:20-23 encourages us, “My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”