Addiction as Besetting Sin

by Franklin E. Payne, Jr., M.D., author of several books, is Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia, in Augusta, Georgia.

Addictive disorders and alcoholism cost $165 billion a year in the United States alone!1 The addict screams, "I can't help myself! I'm addicted." In response, "experts"2 and society feel compassion with ever increasing programs for them.

However, I want to substitute "besetting sin" for "addiction." The primary problem is moral and spiritual,3 not medical, and cannot be addressed without that perspective.

What is Addiction?

Can Anyone Heal Me?

Many deeply committed Christians are using physicians as a substitute for Christ.

Developing a Theology of Drug Abuse

Theological confusion arises, in part, because of the influence of the disease model. This model states that most of life's problems can be reduced to biochemical abnormalities. As a result, personal responsibility is either diminished or altogether absent.

Behavior or Disease?

When is an addiction or dysfunctional behavior a "disease?"

How to Get Out of the Pit

Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and of great kindness.
Joel 2:13

Let me start this week’s devotional with the words to a chorus God gave me when I was in the pit of self-loathing and condemnation:

I remember, Lord, the joy of serving You;
I remember, Lord, when all I knew was You;
Flowing through me, calling to me,
Lord, please use me once again!


In Grace

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Do you question why a good God would allow suffering?

Why is Life So Unfair?

Do you ever wonder why life is so unfair?

How Can I Overcome My Addiction?

Learn how to overcome your addiction.

When is Counseling Needed?

Learn how to identify when professional counseling is needed.

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