Is it healthy to demand that Washington and Wall Street “fix” the “Substance-Related-Addictive Disorders” problem in this country? The burglar who is entrusted with the house keys while we are on vacation will sooner cure our addictive ills. May we expect that anyone can help us?
Can we get any wisdom from a spider?
Go into the living room, closets and dark areas of your house.
Check the corners for spider webs. Broom them down, come back next week and repeat.
This is called, “treating the symptoms”.
Causes There is an opportunistic spider in your house. He wants to deceive and trap his prey and he is quite capable.
Cures Kill the spider.
As simple as this diagnostic is, it is rarely implemented.
1- Because our politicians, big business moguls and pharmaceuticals make far too much money off the spider. We will not see the addictive culture go away, we can only hope for generalized containment. Americans will continue to pay enormous amounts of tax dollars for programs that have no intention of ending addictions. What they do is order bigger brooms for sweeping down the spider webs. (Wall Street and Washington are very good friends with the spider and they get kick-backs for leaving him alive) They will even promise “auto-brooms’ for keeping those pesky webs out of your life. Brightly colored brooms, long ones, short ones, soft and hard.
2- You and I may well have a love affair with this spider and appreciate all the efforts others make to keep him alive and spinning his webs. (huge profits at stake)
Here is a distinctive look at addictions web of deceit.
The smoker or chewer is not addicted to tobacco. He finds relief and support for anxiety with nicotine.
The thief is not addicted to possessions, rather the “high” they gain if successful.
The opioid abuser is not addicted to the drug as much as to the escape from pain and suffering, from the torture of being reminded of some tragic event, emotional and or physical.
The glutton is not addicted to food, rather a moment of feeling in control and out of pain.
The pornographer is not addicted to sex, rather the release of pain-neutralizing chemicals in the brain called endorphins that bring calm and poise in the throes of pain, anxiety and fear.
The greedy capitalist is not addicted to money, rather the amassing of a false-security perceived to be in material possessions.
The shopper is not addicted to material possessions or the thrill of the purchase, but the need for personal worth and value.
The adulterer is not addicted to sexuality, rather the search for that fix of a broken internal perception of self that presupposes another human being can provide relief and “completion”.
The religious quack deceiving others for money is not addicted to prosperity, rather a perceived power and a hope that control of others might settle their own fears of being insignificant.
The alcoholic is not addicted to the bottle or the liquid inside. He or she is convinced that a brief relief from the pain of rejection and hurt is better than none.
A bully is not addicted to hurting others, rather the hope of relieving his own insecurities and fear of being insignificant.
The Cyber-Techno- savvy person is not addicted to all that this plethora of open doors provides. (social media, porn and chat rooms) He searches for anything that might plug the hole of emptiness and disconnect from reality. Isolation is an enormous pain in the American culture today.
What is the common denominator in these addictions?
WE ARE ADDICTED TO WHATEVER PROVIDES PAIN RELIEF—WHATEVER SOOTHES OUR FEAR AND INSECURITY.
The Spider is that Pain that plagues the client who has money/insurance, and who creates the demand. The demand, when discovered by a market, feeds several subgroups and keeps them prospering. The opioid crisis has revealed that people experience diverse types of pain and at many levels. All of us living with pain seek to be rid of it. We want the spider to be dead, but we may also want to keep our pet addiction.
NOT EVERYONE LIVING WITH AN ADDICTION TO PAIN RELIEF IS CRIMINAL OR SINFUL
The individual who is in pain, pain of any kind, knows only that to be out of pain is very important to survival. Some people live with unimaginable chronic pain and a shot or a pill for them is life-saving. Such addictions are now in the forefront of the news as more and more pain relief pills are designed, produced, made available, found to be helpful, but also addictive, and so often abused by patient, doctor and pharmaceutical alike. Our medical community is to be praised for their compassionate efforts at providing pain relief but also cautioned against greed (profits) that overcomes human dignity. Addiction relief requires care and skill, understanding, yet determination with the patient’s best interest always at the forefront.
MULTIPLE PROPOSED SOLUTIONS
While “Just say no” may help to encourage the non-addicted, it usually means nothing to someone in pain searching for relief.
Jail and imprisonment is rarely enough threat to prevent that person in desperation. Many addictions serve to de-humanize or at least to desensitize one to the sacredness of life. Shame and guilt are only helpful when they drive us to seek help. It is hard to pull one’s self up by one’s own boot straps when one’s boots are missing.
Betty Ford “I think once I made up my mind that I was allergic to alcohol, and that’s what I learned, it made sense to me. And I think it was kind of pointed out that you know if you were allergic to strawberries, you wouldn’t eat strawberries. And that made sense to me.”
A new anti-drug campaign out of Washington. Spend even more money. Remember the 600 million dollars per year program called D.A.R.E. ? I didn’t think so. Future add campaigns will bring in Big-Pharma and produce more drugs that only mask pain while addicting at new levels for profits sake.
1-SEE YOUR DOCTOR, a trusted health professional who cares for you and your health.
We are discovering the truth that in all professions there are those who are less than honest, so “trusted” is significant.
2-WHEN RECOMMENDED BY YOUR DOCTOR, SEE A THERAPIST/COUNSELOR. The Halls of Addiction are deceptively deadening rooms where celebrations and parties are held despite reality. Few exit out into the sunny day without help. Depression, hopelessness and fear are brutal and powerful task-masters.
THE BIBLE HAS MUCH TO TEACH US ON THIS SUBJECT
WHILE ADDICTIONS ARE ALWAYS A POTENTIAL FOR US ALL, WE ALSO HAVE A REPOSITORY FOR GRACE AND CARE
Pain visits us all at regular intervals throughout our lives. Christians have an adversary, a spider, yes, but also a roaring lion. “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering (pain) are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.
And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” (I Peter 5:8-10) And do this very thing. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.” (vv.6-7)
Jesus offers us this alternative truth. Jesus disconnected pain and suffering (“sends rain on the just and the unjust”) from classes of people. No matter who we are or what we have done, we will all know pain and suffering in this life. If not in our bodies, then our mind or both and we will seek relief. “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:45)
PAIN IS NOT GOING AWAY. God accepts pain and he expects us to do the same. Wait a minute. God has pain? Yes, he does. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (II Peter 3:9) God is grieved to see any of us choose to willfully reject his love and care. God is also going to correct the notion that loving him and submitting to him, as the clay would to the potter, should include a pain and trouble-free existence. Pain, often referred to as “the megaphone of God” teaches us how to appreciate pain-free-ness.
Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you”. (Mark 14:7)
Poverty will never be eradicated entirely. We live with it at some level always. The same is true for pain, suffering and addictions.
Jesus also said, “But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you.
Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (John 14:26-27)
The Psalmist reflects: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” (34:19) “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (46:1)
Wisdom remarks: “We are ruined by our own stupidity, though we blame the Lord.” (Proverbs 19:3)
Relief from addiction is real, but as long as I am abusing and enslaved to _______________ for my pain relief, I will not accept the truth from God about his capable care and His love for me. I essentially deny God any opportunity to be my strength, comfort and very present help in time of trouble. No matter the dark past, the bible here teaches me of a potential of bright future.
“You used to let the different parts of your body be slaves of your evil thoughts. But now, you must make every part of your body serve God, so that you will belong completely to Him. When you were slaves of sin, you didn’t have to please God. But what good did you receive from the things you did? All you have to show for them is your shame, and they lead to death. Now you have been set free from sin, and you are God’s slaves. This will make you holy and will lead you to eternal life. Sin pays off with death. But God’s gift is eternal life given by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:9-23)
This is all to say: Your old spider is now dead. You are no longer obligated to serving him. (though you may act otherwise)
Say goodbye to those cobwebs and constant brooming, the futile treatment of symptoms alone.
Whether self-inflicted, or brought upon us through no fault of our own, pain and suffering are a real part of our lives.
Discovering how not to treat the symptoms, but to meet pain head on (no running allowed) we save ourselves from even deeper pain and agony. Let us never meet our pains alone because we do not have to.
“ If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest. Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
MORE CARE AND INSTRUCTION FROM GOD’S WORD
“By faith we have been made acceptable to God. And now, because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we live at peace with God. Christ has also introduced us to God’s undeserved kindness on which we take our stand. So we are happy, as we look forward to sharing in the glory of God. But that’s not all! We gladly suffer, because we know that suffering helps us to endure. And endurance builds character, which gives us a hope that will never disappoint us. All of this happens because God has given us the Holy Spirit, who fills our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:1-5
“For I am waiting for you, O LORD. You must answer for me, O Lord my God. I prayed, “Don’t let my enemies gloat over me or rejoice at my downfall.” I am on the verge of collapse, facing constant pain. But I confess my sins; I am deeply sorry for what I have done.” Psalm 38:15-18
“Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! The Father is a merciful God, who always gives us comfort. He comforts us when we are in trouble, so that we can share that same comfort with others in trouble. We share in the terrible sufferings of Christ, but also in the wonderful comfort he gives. We suffer in the hope that you will be comforted and saved. And because we are comforted, you will also be comforted, as you patiently endure suffering like ours. You never disappoint us. You suffered as much as we did, and we know that you will be comforted as we were.” II Corinthians 1:3-7
“I don’t feel bad anymore, even though my letter hurt your feelings. I did feel bad at first, but I don’t now. I know that the letter hurt you for a while. Now I am happy, but not because I hurt your feelings. It is because God used your hurt feelings to make you turn back to him, and none of you were harmed by us. When God makes you feel sorry enough to turn to him and be saved, you don’t have anything to feel bad about. But when this world makes you feel sorry, it can cause your death.” II Corinthians 7:8-10
Finally, we see how our own sin and rebellion against God is related to how Jesus suffered immense pain and agony for us.
“Has anyone believed us or seen the mighty power of the Lord in action?
2 Like a young plant or a root that sprouts in dry ground, the servant grew up obeying the Lord.
He wasn’t some handsome king. Nothing about the way he looked made him attractive to us.
3 He was hated and rejected; his life was filled with sorrow and terrible suffering.
No one wanted to look at him. We despised him and said, “He is a nobody!”
4 He suffered and endured great pain for us, but we thought his suffering was punishment from God.
5 He was wounded and crushed because of our sins; by taking our punishment, he made us completely well.
6 All of us were like sheep that had wandered off. We had each gone our own way,
but the Lord gave him the punishment we deserved.
7 He was painfully abused, but he did not complain.
He was silent like a lamb being led to the butcher, as quiet as a sheep having its wool cut off.
8 He was condemned to death without a fair trial. Who could have imagined what would happen to him?
His life was taken away because of the sinful things my people had done.
9 He wasn’t dishonest or violent, but he was buried in a tomb of cruel and rich people.
10 The Lord decided his servant would suffer as a sacrifice to take away the sin and guilt of others.
Now the servant will live to see his own descendants. He did everything the Lord had planned.
11 By suffering, the servant will learn the true meaning of obeying the Lord.
Although he is innocent, he will take the punishment for the sins of others, so that many of them will no longer be guilty.
12 The Lord will reward him with honor and power for sacrificing his life.
Others thought he was a sinner, but he suffered for our sins and asked God to forgive us.” Isaiah 53