1999 James A. Fowler

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ADDICTION

I. Direct Scripture references pertaining to "addiction."

    A. Christian leaders
         I Tim. 3:3 - ""not addicted to wine"
         I Tim. 3:8 - "not addicted to much wine"
         Titus 1:7 - "not addicted to wine"
    B. Older women
         Titus 2:3 - "not enslaved to much wine"

II. Considering the meaning of the word "addiction."

    A. Webster's Dict. - "to surrender oneself to something obsessively or habitually."
    B. Gerald May - Addiction and Grace
         1. Def. - "compulsive, habitual behavior that limits freedom of human desire"
         2. Attraction additions and aversion addictions (indulgence and denial)
    C. Characteristics: "must have," "want more," "no problem," "can't stop."
    D. Same patterns of behavior also identified as weaknesses, vulnerabilities, character faults,
         neuroses, "flesh," besetting sins, life-dominating sins, strongholds of sins, demons, idolatry, etc.
    E. Differing personalities and tendencies to obsess:
         S - Success, significance, freedom, leader, competition, excitement
         E - Approval, social, popularity, talk, relationship, love
         L - Security, attachment, tradition, belonging, status quo
         F - Knowledge, accuracy, structure, organization, perfection

III. Other Scriptural references to consider

   A. Correlation with Biblical word "flesh"
        Rom. 13:14 - "make no provision for the flesh in regard to its desires"
        Gal. 5:24 - "have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires"
        Eph. 2:3 - "formerly walked in the desires of our flesh indulging the desires...
        I Peter 2:11 - "abstain from fleshly desires, which wage war against soul"
        James 1:13 - "carried away, seduced by tempter, under our desires"
   B. Correlation with Biblical idea of "besetting sins"
        Heb. 12:1 - "the sin that so easily entangles us"
        Rom. 14:23 - "whatever is not of faith is sin"
   C. Correlation with Biblical concept of "idolatry"
        Phil. 3:19 - "god is their appetite,...set minds on earthly things"
        Gerald May - "addictions make idolaters of us all"
        Philip Yancey - "what the Old Testament calls idolatry, enlightened Westerners call 'addictions'."

IV. Dealing with addictive patterns

   Phil. 4:19 - "God shall supply all your needs...in Christ Jesus"
   Prov. 13:25 - "the righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite"
   John 8:82,36 - "the truth shall set you free"
   Gal. 5:1 - "It was for freedom that Christ set us free"
   II Cor. 3:5 - "not adequate in ourselves...adequacy is from God"
   II Chron. 20:15 - "battle is not yours, but God's"
   Exod. 23:29-33 - "I will not drive them out in a single year"