In a consumer society, there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addictions and the prisoners of envy.
Ivan Illich, Tools for Conviviality
We have all had the experience of struggling to break a habit, failing repeatedly, and then at some point meeting with success. What was this success, and how did it happen? We can say it was willpower, but what suddenly empowered our will? We can say it was finding the right strategy, but what enabled that discovery? Did we do it on our own, or did grace break through and deliver us, or was it some mysterious cooperation of will and grace that we could never have engineered?
Gerald G. May, Addiction and Grace
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable; we came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity; and we made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.
Adapted from the first three steps of The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous
I'm afraid the churches are just enabling the addictions of our culture. If we are not free from the cultural addictions in the church, how can we be a healing presence for all those who need to be set free?
N. Gordon Cosby, By Grace Transformed
Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.
Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections
It is not heroin or cocaine that makes one an addict, it is the need to escape from harsh reality. There are more television addicts, more baseball and football addicts, more movie addicts, and certainly more alcoholic addicts in this country than there are narcotics addicts.
Rep. Shirley Chisholm at a Congressional hearing on crime
Recovery is a process; it is not a quick fix. It involves much more than giving up the addictive agent.
Anne Wilson Schaef and Diane Fassel, The Addictive Organization
My denial of my sin protects, preserves, perpetuates that sin! Ugliness in me, while I live in illusions, can only grow the uglier.
Walter Wangerin Jr., Reliving the Passion
We can't prevent the problems of sexual addiction within the church if we don't change our message from "how to feel better now" to the unpopular biblical theme that "the sufferings we now experience are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).
Dr. Harry W. Schaumburg, False Intimacy: Understanding the Struggle of Sexual Addiction
Copyright © 2001 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
Other Christianity Today articles about addictions and recovery include:
Tangled in the Worst of the Web | What Internet porn did to one pastor, his wife, his ministry, their life. (Feb. 23, 2001)
Resources for the Ensnared | Christ-centered help for those struggling with Internet pornography and sexual addiction. (Feb. 23, 2001)
More than 12 Steps | New Freedom Fellowship, a church for recovering substance abusers, helps people walk with Christ. (Dec. 5, 2000)
Lessons From Rock Bottom | The church can learn about grace from the recovery movement. (Jul. 11, 2000)
We've Got Porn | Online smut is taking its toll on Christians. What is the church doing about it? (Jul. 5, 2000)
A Throwaway Generation | Drug-addicted girls find solace in the church's embrace. (Apr. 24, 2000)
Gambling Away the Golden Years | Casinos are seducing an alarming number of seniors. Where is the church? (May 24, 1999)
Gambling with the Enemy | Instead of folding, the church should be upping the ante (May 18, 1998)
I'm Not OK, You're Not OK | New Life Clinics' Steve Arterburn talks about why we are reluctant to be transparent about our problems. (Feb. 9, 1998)
The Spring 2000 issue of Christianity Today sister publication Leadership Journal had an excellent article on healing broken people in the church, "Broken People Can Become Whole Disciples | The steps from dysfunction to fully functioning Christian."
Past Reflections columns include:
- African-American Voices (Feb. 1, 2001)
- Forgiveness (Jan. 25, 2001)
- Incarnation (Dec. 4, 2000)
- Listening (Nov. 30, 2000)
- Death and Eternity (Oct. 24, 2000)
- Quotations of Time and Eternity (Oct. 11, 2000)
- Quotations to Contemplate (Sept. 21, 2000)
- Christian virtues (Aug. 22, 2000)
- Beauty, Prayer and Loving God (Aug. 1, 2000)
- Prayer, Silence and Other Topics (June 31, 2000)
- Getting, Giving, and Generosity (June 13,2000).
- Easter Sunday (Apr. 3, 2000)
- Good Friday (Apr. 3, 2000)
- Friendships (Mar. 6, 2000)
- Gratitude: Take One (Feb. 7, 2000)
- God Will Prevail (Oct. 25, 1999)
- The Might of a Dandelion (Oct. 4, 1999)
- Losing Touch with God (Sept. 6,1999)
- Real Joy (Aug. 9, 1999)
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.