When we look at the definition of illness or disease, (see last post) we can see that what is considered addiction does not fit until there is true physical dependency. However, that is not the common understanding of those who follow the medical model of thinking. There more certainly are illnesses as a result of substance abuse; cirrhosis of the liver being one consequence to alcohol abuse. This has been the great debate for those of us who counsel. The eternal questions of which came first the disease or the addiction? Or, are they one and the same? Did the disease cause the addiction? Was the addiction "set off" by some chemical in the body that was programmed to come to life at a specific time, or by a specific trigger; such as the "first drink theory?"
Thus far, there is no proof of anything despite the cries of those who do study after study after study. There seems to be always one study to contradict the previous conclusions made.
Once someone can give me concrete proof with a isolated proven genetic link I will buy into it. I will accept it as I accept proof of diabetes. Although, any proof of linkage or genetics will in the end only bolster my position.
If you know you are predisposed to a medical problem, you do everything in your power to stay away from it. That must come from within because that person must make the choice to reject, defeat, and deny the cravings or pulls toward that particular sin.
I say this is true because I know that a diabetic can deny their diabetes is real all day long, and it won't go away. In fact, they will die as they deny it exists. It is the same with other biological and physiological disorders. But not with "addiction." In this case when you deny the sin it's "food" it dies. The desire for the pleasure the sin brings won't die, but the sin itself will not be active in that person's life.
Many who struggle today with various vices grew up in homes where these things were freely available. Drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, cigarettes have become the norm in many homes today. Now those children have grown up and have the decision to make as to if they will continue in the same lifestyle as their ancestors or if they will choose something different.
The choice to make that choice and make the change must come from someone more powerful then themselves. The power that is needed comes only from the Holy Spirit within the believer.
Did you know that even Alcoholics Anonymous says in its literature that "alcoholism is largely a spiritual disease requiring spiritual healing." There is a huge spiritual component in a person's addiction to anything.
Remember that all addictions are a form of idolatry, and idolatry is perhaps the most prevalent issue in the Bible.
"So watch yourselves, that you do not forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the LORD your God has commanded you." Deut. 4:2
For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Eph. 5:5
Idolatry is anything that we set our affections on and indulge as an excessive and sinful attachment. The problem is not the substance, practice or person to which we attach our affections, it is the heart that has begun to worship something other than God.
We know as Christians that we are called to worship God. This means that we are to live for God's glory, not our own. But we often choose to forsake the calling we have received from God to worship and glorify Him, and we exchange the truth of God for a lie and give glory to the idols of our heart instead.
Rather than relinquishing our souls to our lusts, we have the God-given option and calling to deny our ungodly lusts and live soberly, righteously and justly in this present age!