Journey to Faith

Journey to Faith
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Lure of Addiction: How to Understand and Help

Do you know someone who struggles with addiction? Perhaps you do. The truth is many of us struggle with addiction to one degree or another. It could be drugs or alcohol, smoking or gambling. It could be overeating, overworking, perfectionism or overachieving. These are all forms of addictions - trying to get a need met in an unhealthy and excessive way. Today we will dive into this relevant and painful subject to understand why people get addicted and what to do about it.

We all need connection and to feel loved, valued, and appreciated, yet many do not. There are a multitude of reasons for this disconnection, such as divorce, the breakdown of the family unit, the need to succeed, and the fast pace of life, to name a few. It takes time and effort to connect to others.

Divorce has divided many families, including my own. Kids feel ignored, unloved, and guilty so they turn to substances such as drugs and alcohol to fill that ache in their hearts. Others turn to abusive relationships to fill that need.

This growing number begs the question - why are so many addicted?

Recently on an Oprah radio, I heard a short part of a dialogue between Russell Brand and Oprah. Russell Brand is a British comedian who was briefly married to the pop music star, Katy Perry. Oprah asked the question if one can ever get over an addiction like to drugs or sex and Russell made a statement that really got me to thinking. It went something like this.

"Addicts are usually very sensitive people who realize they are not connected spiritually and are looking for that feeling from the addictive substance or behavior."

Kind of puts a different spin on the whole addiction thing.  Human beings are made with an internal desire to be connected not only to other people but also to God. We are spiritual beings living in a human body but some fail to recognize this need.

Perhaps you've had an experience with an addict or an addiction, or know someone who does. They are usually very lovable, attractive, seductive, and charming personalities. They make you laugh and they make you cry. But deep down inside, like so many of us, they are hurting and they usually don't know why. So they seek solace and connection in something or someone that temporarily comforts their souls.

Addiction comes in many forms. Some choose alcohol. Others choose smoking, drugs, food, gambling, sex, work, exercise, approval. The list goes on and on. In fact, anything done to excess can be an addiction. And that includes relationships as well. Nothing, not even a relationship, is meant to be a substitute for God.

We all have a spiritual need, a void, a hunger deep down inside. God made us that way; to long for connection. We try and fill this need with so many different things, but only one person will truly fulfill that desire and He is God. Sooner or later most of us come to this realization, usually after we hit rock bottom in one or many areas of our lives. Even the wisest man on earth, King Solomon, came to this conclusion when he said:

"Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless!" (Ecclesiastes 1:2).

Have you been deeply hurt in the past and look to substances, activities, or people to fill that loneliness and cover the pain?  Today is the day to get to know God. He  wants you to be healed and whole. As I say in my book, "The Power of Faith",  "When we are ready to meet God, He is ready to meet us."

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Stay tuned for more practical and spiritual wisdom and

Until next time, keep looking up!

Ariel