Overcoming Addiction

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading


Is Addiction a Sin, Disease, or Psychological Defect?

In the classic movie series Ice Age, we meet a crazy squirrel named Scrat. All throughout the movies he can be seen chasing after an acorn that he can never get. Many people would jokingly describe Scrat as obsessed, or an acorn addict. Maybe your parents are addicted to coffee like Scrat is addicted to that acorn. We often joke about addiction, but it actually can be very serious.

Addiction affects our spirit, mind, and body.

  • Spiritual effect—An addict ultimately replaces God as the center of their life with something or someone else.
  • Mind effect—Repeated patterns of poor decision-making makes the addiction stronger and disrupts your thinking.
  • Body effect—Consequences from our poor decisions cause stress and anxiety. SPECT and MRI scans show how this disrupts and rewires our brain circuitry.

A better way to understand how these three things relate is by thinking of a computer.

  • Our brain is like the hardware—the screen, mouse, hard drive, wires, etc.
  • Our mind is like the operating system—it makes decisions and tells the hardware how to process and output information.
  • Our spirit connects us to God in the same way the computer owner chooses whether or not to follow the designer’s instructions or plan.

God is like the designer and manufacturer of the computer. The computer works best when the hardware is working properly and our operating system is updated. The same thing goes for cell phones. Can you imagine if you tried to run an iPhone on an Android operating system? It wouldn’t work! Why? Because the entire machine is meant to operate in a specific way. Our life works best when the mind, body, and spirit are all working within God’s plan and design. Regularly choosing something other than God is a defect in mind and body and is sin. It becomes an addiction when it becomes a regular pattern.