For the next few days, I want to discuss an important subject that I believe steals joy and abundant life from a large majority of the population, including Christians, and that is addiction. If we are being totally honest, I think most of us would admit to struggling with some kind of behavior that is compulsive or over which we feel like we have very little control. While some addictions are more common and prevalent than others, they are all rooted in one devastating emotion — shame.
According to Webster’s dictionary, the definition of shame is “a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety,” and no matter what its cause, when held in secret and nurtured, it is destructive. While many think that guilt and humiliation are the byproducts of addiction, the truth is they are actually the root. I learned this when I took a counseling class in seminary and have seen it played out time and time again as I have met people in the midst of it. That said, since I really want you to overcome out-of-control behaviors and break their power in your life, I’m going to take some time over the next week to discuss the five steps in the cycle of addiction — shame, emotional triggers, cravings, rituals, and temporary relief — and show you how the love of God can deliver you from all of them.
Friend, in Jesus, there is no condemnation and your sins have been removed from you as far as the east is from the west! Even if you are in the thick of addiction or stuck in the pit of despair, your Savior is still pro-you. There is no chain He can’t break and no power He cannot overcome. The God of Creation is on your side and He wants you to enjoy the wonder of being made in His image. This means that no temptation, compulsion, or sin can overtake you and there is no far off place you can wander to which your Lord is not already there. He loves you, He’s carrying you, and He will deliver you as you submit all of yourself to His goodness and grace. Isn’t that wonderful news?