Addictions: His Steps to Recovery
by David Ronald Selick
According to Holy Scripture (The Bible) every man, woman, girl, and boy was given (via Adam and Eve's transgression) a nature that when given the choice to do right or wrong, the wrong decision will eventually be made. (Romans 3:23) Due to the fall in the Garden of Eden, the potential for evil and sin is ever present in unregenerate mankind. Mankind has a definite dilemma and that dilemma opens the door for a world of suffering. Mankind has the great need to be restored (RECOVERED) from the fallen nature. Holy Scripture tells us that Christ Jesus gave us the remedy for the dilemma of the fall and the fallen nature. (I Corinthians 15:3) The remedy has been called by some individuals HIS STEPS (plan) to RECOVERY.
Human nature presents us with many commonalities. Unfortunately a destructive commonality is the "sin factor" and the extreme nature of sinning is the reality of "habitual sinning". Another name for habitual sinning is "addiction". One definition of addiction is "any or all recurring behavior that causes dysfunction and is difficult to break or stop and where obsessive thoughts to repeat the behavior are usually present". (Romans 7:15)
Q: What type of plan did Jesus give mankind to deal with Addiction (recurring sin especially a specific problematic sin) and can you list Biblical references?
A: There are many ways to understand how to deal with sin in a biblical way. Giving your life to Jesus by confessing your sins to Him and confessing faith in his deity, resurrection, and his ability to forgive sin and making a personal commitment to serve Him the rest of your life according to His Holy Word is the greatest method to deal with sin.
A practical daily plan to overcome recurring sin has been termed STEPS by many people. The most widely recognized plan used for Recovery is the Twelve-Step plan or program. The Twelve-Step plan is thought by many to be secular, but it is in reality derived from the principles of the Holy Bible. Today the secular community has allowed for a spiritual component to be used in government funded substance abuse rehabilitation programs. That is something that all Christians can give praise to Jesus for.
Allow me to list the first four steps of the Twelve Steps as I have experienced them in assisting addicts in secular settings and also in Christian settings.
Step One: (Involves honest self-examination) Made a searching, fearless, and honest moral inventory of ourselves.
Biblical Connection: Psalms 4:4, 27:1, Proverbs 27:1, Jeremiah 17:9-10 Lamentations 3:40, Joel 2:13, Micah 6:8, Matthew 26:41, John 14:1, II Corinthians 13:5-6, Ephesians 4:31, Colossians 3:5-8, James 1:19-21, 3:14-16, II Peter I 5-7, I John 1:8-9.
Step Two: (Recognizing our brokers) We have admitted that we are powerless over the effects of our separation from God and that our lives have become unmanageable.
Biblical Connection: Psalm 6:6-10, 34:17-18, 38:8, 42:7, Proverbs 28:26, Isaiah 38:12-13, Matthew 9:36, Romans 7:15-20, I Corinthians 8:2, II Corinthians 12:9-10.
Step Three: (Acknowledging the birth of faith in ourselves) Came to believe that God's power is greater than ourselves and could restore us to sanity.
Biblical Connection: Deuteronomy 33:27, Job 6:8, Psalms 63:1, 91:1, Isaiah 41:10, 61:18, Jeremiah 30:17, Ezekiel 18:31, Mark 5:15, 9:23-24, 10:51-52, Luke 5:31, 15:17 John 3:16, Romans 8:38-39, II Corinthians 1:9, 3:5, Philippians 2:13, 4:19, Hebrews 11:6, I Peter 5:7.
Step Four: (Involves a decision to let God be in charge of our life) Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God according to the Holy Bible.
Biblical Connection: Deuteronomy 30:19-20, Psalms 40:1-2, 78:38-39, 118:8-9, Proverbs 3:5-6,16:3, 18:10, Isaiah 40:31, 55:1, Jeremiah 17:14, Lamentations 3:26, Matthew 4:18-22, 7:7, 11:28-30, Mark 12:30, Galatians 2:20, Philippians 2:12-13.
Q: Are there resources that can help an Addict or others struggling with sin to directly apply Scriptures to the Recovery Process?
A: One large proof of the help Jesus has given us is the existence of Bibles that are expressly dedicated to illustrating how Holy Scriptures are directly related to the dynamics of addictive behavior and more importantly related to the (process of overcoming addiction) "Recovery" from addiction. One direct example of the connection between Jesus and "RECOVERY" is the Serenity Bible, which is readily available in many retail bookstores.
"Support groups" designed from a Christian perspective can be a dynamic spiritual resource for individuals struggling with addiction. Search out your local community and surrounding areas for listings of "support group" meetings. Visit the group and use spiritual discernment to see if the Lord would have you regularly attend. (Romans 15:1, Galatians 6:2)
There are many Christians whose ministry is to assist others in their daily struggle to overcome addiction. Seek out help from same gender Christians who have or are overcoming an addiction and have a few years of successful abstinence from their addiction.
Seek out a church that has a strong emphasis on assisting people in recovery. Seek out a church whose leadership understands the need and dynamics for providing support for those who struggle with addiction.
Commit yourself to regular and faithful attendance to church and "support group" meetings. (Hebrews 10:25) Prayerfully consider assisting others within your church with similar struggles. Make yourself available to your spiritual leaders and others by sharing your testimony with them about your desire to follow His Steps to Recovery, God's steps to recovery.