That’s a question on many lips. There’s a lot of confusion and bewilderment in family members and friends when a person falls prey to the trap of addiction. The confusion comes from the fact that the person who becomes addicted seems to have everything going for him/her. Sometimes, the perception is that the addict is weak and doesn’t care about others. However, here is a short lesson on the doorways to addiction.
Ingratitude: The bible says in Romans 1:21 “Because that they knew him as God but would not honor Him as God, neither were thankful , God gave them up…”
Ingratitude became the platform upon which God withdrew His covering over the people and from that moment, they degenerated into addiction. So, cultivating gratitude is a good antidote for addiction.
- Addictive Society: Morals and values have been turned on their heads in today’s society such that good is now bad and bad good. The society attempts to shape the thinking, dressing and interactions of people and the need to belong and be popular is stronger than the need to be decent. Social media spits out pictures of “celebrities” living a certain lifestyle, wearing certain kinds of clothing and interacting with other “celebrities”. This is a subtle way of making them the standard and in a bid to be like them, the lines become blurred for what is right and acceptable. Behaviour is measured by acceptability, rather than appropriateness. A return to morals and decency is the way to go.
- Personal Trauma: In Africa especially, trauma is dismissed under the umbrella of stoicism. The african is admonished and even browbeaten into being “strong” such that people hide and bury their pain and never process it. But unresolved trauma is like a huge carcass that will only attract vultures; the carcass being the pain and the vultures being the coping mechanisms. Every addiction is a cover for pain and/or fear and every personal trauma necessarily means that the person will seek a coping mechanism, hence the addiction. All addictions are the same in principle, it’s just the drug of choice that differs. When there is a headache a person could take paracetamol, when theres a stomach ache a person could take Gestid or Pepto- bismol, when theres a sprain a person could use Deep heat; these are all pains in the body. Trauma is pain in the soul and the soul will also seek medication. Unfortunately, the medications are usually destructive options – the addictions. We will necessarily need to reeducate about resolving trauma in healthy ways and introduce the one-stop solution that is God.
- Family Dysfunction: This is one huge doorway to addictions. The bible is rife with examples of how a decision in one generation can set up a downward spiral for the generations coming. A typical example is Abraham’s family where for three generations one son was lost: different circumstances surrounded these sons but the end result was the same – they were sent away from their family. King David committed adultery with Bathsheba and though none of his sons was present, he lost four of them to sexual sin. Moses was the meekest man on earth but got tripped up by anger which cost him entering into the promised land. The paradox here is the meekest man dealing with anger issues. Moses’ anger came from Levi ten generations before him. In Ezekiel 18:2 the bible says “What is this proverb that I hear you say in Israel that the fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge?” A lot of people do not even know how their struggles began, they just find themselves struggling. Until a transitional man arises, these things will continue down the generations. An example would be Joseph who stopped the trend in his family by taking the hardship from his brothers and refusing his father from continuing the problem by putting his younger son over the older.
These are the four doorways through which addictions come. So, measure yourself if you’re struggling or think of anyone around you who is struggling and see what the source of addiction might be. You would have taken a huge step towards solving the problem.