A biblical approach to addiction – The Addiction Connection
Psychologists used to look for the “addictive personality” until around 20 years ago. They were shocked to discover that there was no clear definition of an “addictive personality.” Who exactly developed an addiction? Was someone more likely to get addicted if dependent, impulsive, weak-willed, sad, worried, or had a “type A” personality?
Dr. Mark Shaw explores the complicated mechanics of addiction, the experience of the addict, and the hope of the gospel to help us understand addiction biblically as a worship disease rooted in the heart. This example effectively conveys the mechanics of addiction from a biblical viewpoint. The complexity of addiction as they relate to the experience and nature of an addict is considered and engaged from a biblical perspective.
Being the director and president of The Addiction Connection, Dr. Shaw is also a licensed and ordained preacher, a trained addictions counselor, a certified nouthetic counselor, a regular public lecturer, a published author, and a seminary instructor. Leading with the motto that help is available for those who are addicted as well as their loved ones through a network of therapists, programs, and churches that take a kind and sincere approach to addiction.
He believes that the struggle with sin in every human heart is depicted in loud and vivid detail by addictions, maybe more than by any other disease. According to current estimates, 27% of people will abuse or become dependent on a substance at some point in their lifetime. These estimations do not consider gambling and pornography, two major behavioral addictions.
The 12-step recovery programs and the medical disease paradigm currently rule the debate and treatment of addictions. The medical disease model does have one flaw, though. The “disease’s” origin has never been determined. There is no solid evidence linking addiction to a gene, virus, bacteria, metabolic deficit, or neuropathology. Do addicts suffer from an illness like diabetes or cancer? Or is illness merely a parable for sin-sickness and the ensuing destruction?
The biblical concepts of worship and idolatry, which is its perversion, both describe the life-dominating and anti-God aspects of addiction. A disorder of worship is an addiction. The voluntary/purposeful/rebellious and the enslaved/deceived/out-of-control components of addiction align with the biblical idea of sin. Addiction is a type of voluntary bondage in which you afterward understand you received something you did not desire because there are no other viable answers; the illness notion continues to be held. If the Bible is not our guide, something else will be.
Addicts worship objects that momentarily gratify physical need rather than the divine King. On the contrary, Family Help for Addiction: A Care Group Study, a 12-week course designed for family members, was created by Dr. Shaw. Small groups can perform this study in homes, libraries, churches, or other community facilities. Along with receiving sound instruction, the family member in the care group also has access to a network of people frequently facing similar challenges.
Besides, counselors in The Addiction Connection network address a person’s needs by customizing their approach to addiction in consideration of their particular circumstances, using Dr. Shaw’s “Next Steps: Be Transformed” curriculum. Counselors employ focused counseling that is grounded in reality. If someone you know is dependent on drugs or alcohol, there are things you can do right away to support them while also enabling yourself to find peace!