(317) 991-1869 [email protected]

Is Addiction a sin or a disease?

What does the world say?

  • The irrational behavior that I do MUST be compulsive– I see it destroying my life and the lives of the ones I love the most, yet I keep doing the same thing over and over. It’s GOT to be a disease beyond my control because  I WANT to quit, but I CAN’T!
  • I know she loves her children. When she’s sober she cares SO MUCH for them. It’s just when she’s high that’s when her ENTIRE PERSONALITY changes… she’s not the same person anymore. It MUST be the drugs talking, not her.
  • If he doesn’t drink then his body begins to react and I SEE THE DISEASE manifesting before my eyes. I’m scared that if he doesn’t drink he will die, so it MUST be a disease.
  • Even doctors say that it is a DISEASE! That’s why you have to be hospitalized to get better because it will kill you if you try to do it on your own.

The word “disease” and “compulsive” allows the addicted person to deny his own responsibility, deny God’s power to change him, blame his parents’ genetic makeup, blame his parents for his poor upbringing as a child, and to blame God for making him this way! Blame-shifting from SELF as the primary problem to a disease as the primary problem. Sounds good if you want to stay “sick” as they call it in the world?

So, what does the Bible, or God’s Word, say about one’s addiction?

Colossian 2:8 says: “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”

“Physical addiction occurs when you satisfy a natural appetite and desire with a temporary pleasure repeatedly until you become the servant of the temporary object of pleasure rather than its master.” (taken from The Heart of Addiction (Focus Publishing, Bemidji, MN, 2008. To order this book go to  www.focuspublishing.com, www.christianbook.com, or www.familychristian.com)

For physical addiction and for the management of withdrawal symptoms, one must get medical attention and detoxification. After that, however, care of the soul is necessary because the heart that longs for pleasure rather than to serve his Creator is worshipping the creature (self) rather than the Creator, God, as we read in Romans 1:18-2:1.

Addiction enslaves a person after the person’s choice is made to try the addictive pleasure! At the moment of decision, a person is responsible for falling into the trap and with today’s prevention education, there really is no excuse for someone to say they did not know that addiction is physically enslaving. It’s a trap but the addict is the one who chose to step into the trap!

So, when I read passages like Genesis 9:20-27, Proverbs 23:19-21, Prov. 23:29-35, and Ephesians 5:18-21 (there are many others, too!), I see that addiction is a sin.

The good news is that Jesus died for all of our sins, even addictions!

The world does not have a Savior to offer, but we in the body of Christ do! Let’s be bold and preach the gospel!

-Mark (thankful that so many in the faith family are recognizing the power of sin and the love of forgiveness in addition to the deceptive diagnosis that the world offers)