“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
It’s a popular view that chemical abusers are victims of a disease or an addiction. However, this non-scientific view of chemical abuse claims the abuser is not responsible for their actions. Instead, the blame is placed on the “addiction” or the “disease.” Yet the Bible calls it sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
At some point, an individual made a conscious “choice” to drink alcohol or use drugs. It is not a disease; it is a choice. A disease is something you didn’t choose, it just happened. Taking drugs or alcohol didn’t just happen; the person chose to use them. Afterwards this person began to follow a regular ritual (or pattern) of this choice in their daily lives and now drugs or alcohol have become that person’s idol.
An idol is anything that is given ultimate priority in a person’s life, other than the God of the Bible. Drugs or alcohol become that ultimate priority. The user lives for the next “high.” They literally become a slave to that substance. Their entire life is built, in most cases, around allegiance to that substance. Some may steal to support their habit. Many become acute liars to cover their tracks.
The governing principle of a person’s life is their god. Self, drugs, sex, money, and pleasure can all become a governing desire in a person’s life, and thus, become their idol.
Everybody worships someone or something.
The abuser must realize that he or she is an idolater—not an “addict.” They are worshiping and serving their desires, rather than the One and only true living God.
Jesus said, “Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (John 8:34). Therefore, repentance is needed—not “treatment” of an addiction. For an idolater, this involves switching their allegiance from the life-dominating sin (their idol) to the living God. The person turns from the sins that control them by giving the Holy Spirit control of every area of their life.
There’s always hope.
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