A Popular Myth About Addiction

It is written:

“Dear friends, we have these promises from God. So we should make ourselves pure—free from anything that makes our body or our soul unclean. Our respect for God should make us try to be completely holy in the way we live.” (2 Corinthians 7:1 ERV)


“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17  For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” (Galatians 5:16-17).

Many of the addicts that I have worked with have told me about something which has greatly hindered their recovery. It is often claimed by well-meaning individuals that substance addiction recovery is an event and not a process. That is, it is often claimed that when a person is saved from sin, they are thereby instantaneously “delivered” from the temptation of drug abuse. Some even had been told that they would not experience withdrawal symptoms!

Now, I am not going to argue with the experiences of individuals who make these claims. I will only point out that the Bible teaches the warfare with sin continues after salvation. Welch has well noted:

“After detection and, if necessary, detoxification, the work begins. Many families, friends, and churches err at this point. Sin, slavery, and idolatry do not go away overnight. There is a Christian myth that change is an event rather than a process; that it is more like a light switch that is turned on than a battle that must be engaged. For some reason, we tend to think—wrongly—that immediate liberation from the slavery of addiction is more glamorous than the gradual process of taking a little bit of land at a time. Such expectations have implicitly encouraged addicts to tell great, though fabricated, stories of liberation instead of simply being honest about their struggles, and finding in that honesty something highly praiseworthy. We must remember that for everyone, the Christian life is an ongoing battle. It is a daily process of mortifying the flesh. We must “encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (Heb. 3: 13). To our shame, Alcoholics Anonymous has a better understanding of the need for daily exhortation than the church.” (Edward T. Welch, Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave: Finding Hope In The Power Of The Gospel, 113 (Kindle Edition); Greensboro, NC; New Growth Press)

If you struggle with drug addiction, the Lord Jesus loves you and wants you to be saved. He will help you, if you will turn to Him. That help may involve getting into rehabilitation services to help your body, as well as on-going counseling to help bring healing to your soul. Whatever your situation, Jesus invites you to come to Him for rest (Matthew 11:28-30).

If we in the churches of Christ can help you, please call upon us and we will do whatever we can to help.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑