“Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to him whose life is bitter. Let him drink and forget his poverty And remember his trouble no more.” Prov. 31:6-7
The Bible says that alcohol is given to those whose life is bitter so that they can then forget their troubles. In other words, alcohol is used as a way to numb the pain.
All addictions whether they are alcohol, narcotics or even what is called “behavior narcotics” such as TV, shopping, gaming, sex, food, etc… can all be used as a way to numb the emotional pain that one feels on the inside.
Now first of all, addictions are harmful. It is harmful not only to the one who is addicted but also harmful to the entire family. For if one person has an addiction, then the whole family suffers. I have seen this first-hand in my own family.
But I believe there is a better way to deal with addictions than how it is normally being addressed. I have seen families treat addictions as the root and only problem. And because of this, they treat their family members as being “bad”, being that they don’t stop doing their “bad”addictions. I believe that this is a wrong way to look at addictions.
According to the Biblical definition, the true solution over the addiction comes from helping someone to heal from their emotional pain. For when their emotional pain disappears, then their desires for the pain numbing addictions will also disappear*. We have used this method successfully in helping many people to heal from their addictions.
As a Pastor, I have also seen the church unfortunately deal with addictions in an unhealthy way, of which I have also been guilty. There have been people who have struggled with addictions, who have been ostracized and even abandoned by the church, without having been given the awareness of why they are addicted or the proper tools so that they could truly heal from their addictions.
I personally don’t look at addictions as being the real problem. Addictions are just symptoms. And as symptoms, addictions are just the body’s way of communicating that there is a deeper root-cause problem.
If someone has light-headedness, dizziness, nosebleeds, high blood pressure, etc… these are just symptoms that the body is communicating to us that there is a root cause problem that needs to be addressed. In this case, it’s possibly coronary heart disease. Yes the symptoms are bad. But the root cause of coronary heart disease is even worse as one could suddenly die from it.
But if you change your lifestyle and reverse your coronary heart disease, your symptoms will naturally disappear. But unfortunately, people just treat the symptoms by taking a blood thinning pill so that all the symptoms will disappear. Now the hiding of the symptoms may prolong your life for awhile but it still doesn’t deal with the dangerous root cause.
In the same way, if we would just move away from treating just the symptoms (the addictions) and focus on the root cause (the unhealed hurt) we would see so many people’s lives be completely transformed.
But if we continue to preach and teach just the stopping of the addictions without the why’s and how to’s of healing from their emotional pain, we will just make people more miserable by pointing out their problems without giving them a solution. Telling people to change without giving them the proper knowledge and tools, could lead them to discouragement and even into hopelessness. Because of this, I believe the church needs to change the way it looks at addictions.
This understanding of addictions has helped me to become more patient and loving towards those who have addictions and has given me a passion and burden to help them heal from their pain. Knowing that when their pain goes away, their addictions will drop off is a most empowering message!
I hope this article helps you to see addictions through new eyes. And if you now see it in a different way, then maybe it’s time to offer support and resources for your loved ones, your family, your friends or even for yourself. Keala
*Chronic or long term addictions as well as narcotics have also over time created a physical, chemical dependency upon the addiction and so in chronic addiction and narcotics, the physical side of addiction will also need to be addressed along with the healing of the emotional pain.
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