Addictions can come in many forms.
Very often we have some woundedness such as feeling inferior, inadequacy, feeling unworthy, unloved, disregarded, powerless, shame, guilt or feelings of rejection or just some form of hurt. We then want to bring something into the system to make us feel better. For different people it can be different things. It may be perfectionism, anger, retail therapy, drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography, food, people pleasing, video games, etc etc.
One aspect of separation from the life of God is feeling a lonely emptiness and a longing to be filled. In this state the addict is merely trying to complete himself with things other than God. These “fixes” are temporary and do not satisfy long term. They may seem to work for a time to cover up the pain of emptiness but will eventually “behave like a lion cub which turns wild, becomes cunning and devours its owners in a destructive addictive cycle.” (Falling Forward)
We then rationalize our behavior in order for it to continue. We may say everyone is doing it, it’s no big deal, I can do this one more time, or I’ll stop next week. In the case of every human being, the thirst we have is infinite, and endless. We thirst for love, acceptance, emotional nourishment, meaningful relationships, conversation and security. The Lord has revealed to us that He, who is Infinite Love, is the only One capable of satisfying these otherwise unquenchable thirsts.
We either find our fulfillment in following Christ, or we become enslaved to the pursuit of that fulfillment in things that are not of God, whether it is drugs, alcohol, gambling, food or pornography.
The patterns of sin and stages of addiction can be seen in the writings of James:
When tempted no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death. James 1:13-15
When we start yielding to the force of temptations whether it is alcohol, drugs, sex, video games, etc. it may seem exciting, fulfilling and even that it is giving us freedom and relief, but the deeper our addiction goes, the more entrenched and addicting our desires become.
If you or a loved one is moving down the path towards addiction, and your tank is empty and needs filling, we are here to help. Call 870-935-4102 Christian Counseling of Arkansas.
Laura Hodges, LPC, NCC