Posted by: everynation | August 30, 2007

Addiction Affliction

by Ron Miller, Jr.

Ron Miller, Jr

O Lord, You are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Psalm 64:8

Like jars of clay, we are made very specific by God to know Him and enjoy Him forever. A jar is a container and a container is created to be filled with something. We are made to be filled, and what we should be filled with is the knowledge of the glory of God. Anytime we seek knowledge, relationship, or pleasure outside of God’s will for our lives, we become addicts in our vain attempt to find meaning and fulfillment.

2 Corinthians 4:6-7 says, “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness, made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

According to a recent Time Magazine article by Michael D. Lemonick titled “How We Get Addicted”, as species wired for survival, we have an odd habit of getting hooked on things that can kill us. “Addictions,” says Joseph Frascella, director of the division of clinical neuroscience at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “are repetitive behaviors in the face of negative consequences, the desire to continue something you know is bad for you.”

Jesus taught that we have an enemy who comes to deceive us and tempt us to participate in activities that will destroy our lives. In John 10:10 Jesus says, “The devil comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Addictions in America change over time. Here’s a look at what substance and behavior addictions have us hooked on today. (Time Magazine, July 16, 2007)

18.7 million people, or 7.7% of the population, are dependent on or abuse alcohol, and 12,000 more try it for the first time every day. Alcoholics Anonymous has over 2 million members.

An estimated 3.6 million people are dependent on drugs. On average, 8,000 try them for the first time each day, and 700,000 are undergoing treatment for addiction.

There are about 71.5 million users of tobacco products in the U.S. About 23.4% of men and 18.5% of women are cigarette smokers.

Caffeine is the most widely used mood-altering drug in the world and is routinely ingested by about 80% to 90% of Americans, primarily through soda and coffee.

An addiction to food affects as many as 4 million U.S. adults and is strongly linked to depression. About 15% of mildly obese people are compulsive eaters.

Two million American adults, or 0.67% of the population, are thought to be pathological gamblers, wagering heedless of the consequences. An additional 4 to 8 million are considered problem gamblers.

At least 1 in 20 Americans is a compulsive shopper, according to a Stanford University study. Cultural factors, like advertising’s emphasis on the happiness products can bring, are thought to fuel addictive buying.

About 16 million Americans suffer from compulsive sexual behavior, the least understood of all addictions. A third are women; about 60% of all sex addicts were abused in childhood.

Like compulsive gambling, Internet addiction is thought to be an impulse-control disorder that can disrupt social relationships.

Wow, maybe this research reveals that the devil is real and Jesus knows what He is talking about.

Ron Miller, Jr. is a gym rat who blogs regularly at Gym Chats. He is a husband, father, artist and musician stuck in an athletic body, and the senior pastor of Every Nation, Tallahassee.

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