The Spiritual And Emotional Roots & Treatment of Addiction | John Townsend, Ph.D.

Before I got my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, I got a Master's in Theology in seminary because I wanted to understand what the Scriptures say, especially the Hebrew and the Greek about the real issues of our times and how that applied to psychology Then I studied the psychological research and found out something very, very interesting

I found out that the good research basically just supports what God's been saying in the Bible all along It's all been there in the Bible It's like there's this big tapestry of beauty and health and all these things and the researchers forgot to put the name of God in the corner of it But He's the artist and He's where all mental health help comes from I've been working with people who are addicted for many years, both on the addiction side and the [inaudible 00:54] of the act side

One of the things you find out about addicts is they don't want to be addicts, they didn't choose to be addicts, something happened If you look at Ephesians chapter 4, you find out what happens Paul tells us about that when we're separated from the life of God, when we're cut off, maybe through disobedience or not following his ways or going aside or going our own way; when we're cut off, separated from the life of God, the impart of that passage about eight verses later is this: that we end up with an insatiable lust for more Now think about that for a second: an insatiable lust for more What's that sound like to you? To me, it sounds like an addiction; something that never satisfies and keeps you in bondage

It all comes back to when we don't live life God's ways, in healthy ways with structure and love and forgiveness and dealing with our past and being healthy, things happen that create addictions So if you are someone who is either struggling with addiction or if you have somebody in your life, let me tell you some tips that will really help The first thing is you've got to have somebody who is for you no matter what Now they may need to set limits with you, you may need to have limits Nobody got well from addiction without the application of grace: I am for you, I want you to win, no matter what I will never judge you

The second thing is that addicts generally need some kind of a structure They need somebody to say, you're hurting people, you're hurting your life, you're hurting your family, you're hurting your money So you're going to have to have that truth with grace combination that the Bible's been talking about so well and so many times in the passages But here's the other part: you've got to help a person with addiction with shame Shame is the reason they hide and they're embarrassed and they blame everybody else

But when you can help somebody and know their deepest, darkest secrets and say I know you're an addict and I know how severe it is and I know how long you've had it and you know what? I'm not mad at you and I'll help you That grace that they experience breaks the stronghold of shame All of us know what shame feels like; for an addict it's a hundred times more Be a grace agent that gets rid of shame and you will help people None of us are immune to the disease of shame

I don't care whether you've never had an addiction or you're in the middle of one Let me challenge you a bit In the next seven days, I'd like for you to have a vulnerable I don't mean a football and barbeque conversation, I have a lot of those but a vulnerable conversation with somebody's that safe and full of grace and truth and talk about what shames you You will be amazed at how you feel and the liberation you feel and the closeness of God you feel and also how the power of whatever is on your shoulders goes away

Be one of those people that receives the grace, destroys shame and also gives the grace that destroys shame That's how we take our place in the army of Christ

Source: Youtube

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