“Satan’s Role in Addictions & Dysfunctional Behaviors” Workshop Transcript – Part 4

Welcome to CIR’s Workshop: “Satan’s Role in Addictions and Dysfunctional Behaviors” This Workshop is presented by noted author Don Umphrey We strongly suggest you get a copy of his latest book Seeking Spiritual Clarity This will help you to get the most out of the workshop.

note: Members can discuss this workshop in the Message Boards HERE

Obie-host We recommend this workshop for all aspects of recovery (not just addictions). The Workshop has been held for the past 3 weeks. This is the last session. You can find the transcripts for the workshops here: http://christians-in-recovery.org/Tools_Transcripts

Who would like to open us in prayer this evening?

hank Heavenly Father

hank you for this day and for all
our blessings guide us tonight
open hearts and minds to
the message tonight
In Jesus name we pray Amen
Obie-host Amen

Obie-host Don will speak for several minutes…
and then the floor will be opened up for questions and comments from each of you…..
Don, please go ahead.

6:35:38Don–author Hello. I’m Don, an alcoholic.
Welcome back to the 4th and final week of our seminar,
Satan’s Role in Addictions/ Dysfunctional Behaviors

Tonight’s seminar is my favorite because
it focuses on the solution.
In the previous three weeks, we’ve seen
That we have a choice of which direction we
will go in life.
We will either follow Satan or Jesus.

If Jesus, we walk toward salvation and gain increasing
spiritual clarity while here on earth.
The closer we get to Him, the more we see the
world through the eyes of our Lord.
If we follow Satan, our spiritual perception becomes
increasingly murky as we journey toward
spiritual blindness during this lifetime toward
joining the evil one in the second death.
Following this path, more and more we
see the world through the eyes of Satan.

This downward journey starts when we “play God.”
When we do, we grow in self-importance and
put self in the middle of the universe.
I call this me-me-me.
When we play God, we believe Satan’s lies, and
if we persist in doing so, we will be in denial;
this is when we lie to ourselves.
By continuing in denial, we may act like an animal.
Finally, our perspective becomes completely backward
and the truth becomes a lie and vice-versa.
as we continue on a march toward self-destruction.

6:40:37Don–author Tonight’s session focuses on what it takes for a person
6:40:45Don–author to come out of denial and get off the road to self-destruction
6:40:52Don–author toward a life focused on Jesus Christ.

Recall from our last two lessons that a person in denial
thinks he or she is always right and justifies everything—
no matter how bad it may be.
As a part of this, individuals avoid any kind of information
that is inconsistent with their beliefs that they are always correct.

For example, I went away to college with the idea that
alcohol was the solution to any problem I might encounter.
(In others words, I was in denial about my false god.)
What if you’d come up to me then and told me that
I was following the wrong course in life, that I
needed to stop drinking and have a relationship with the Lord?
I would have told you to go jump in the lake or worse.
What does it take for an individual to stop justifying
wrong behavior and admit that he/she is wrong
and then start seeking a new path in life?

Jesus’ story of the prodigal or lost son
(Luke 15) sheds light on this question.
The son asked for his inheritance,
turned his back on his father and left home for
the far country. By asking for his inheritance,
it is like telling his father, “I wish you were dead.” .
What if you’d said, “Son, you need to go home
to your father who loves you.” How would he have
replied. He would have told you where to get off.

After a while in the far country, he ran out of money
and got a job feeding pigs. Don’t forget, this is a Jewish
boy whose religion forbad him from even touching a pig.
In other words, this kid was the scum of the earth to
those who heard this story from Jesus. Finally…

“He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs
were eating, but no one gave him anything.” (Luke 15: 16)
That was his point of powerlessness. Look at the next verse:
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my
father’s hired men have food to spare and here I am
starving to death.’” (Luke 15: 17)

After he recognized his plight, “He came to his senses.”
This is a recognition that he wasn’t using good sense before.
It is also a sign that he has come out of denial.
That he has quit lying to himself.

As soon as he did come out of denial, who does he start
thinking about immediately? His father. And this time
he is thinking favorably about his father.

When the son came to his senses, he had what we call
a moment of clarity. At this time people get a peek at where they
have arrived in life. In my case, I was in a mental
hospital. I talked to a young woman today who had
to go to jail because she was caught drunk-driving.
She spent two days there and during that time, she
had her moment of clarity.
When this occurs people re-evaluate old information.

For example,
The lost son started thinking differently about his father.
People then may also be receptive to new information.
In my case, I met a man in the mental hospital who
told me that drinking might be my problem and that
Alcoholics Anonymous might have the solution.

Thus, denial ends when people have a moment of clarity.
I believe that such a moment might come
after one of two things: 1) discomfort; 2) intervention.

An example of intervention in the Bible is when the
Prophet Nathan confronted David about his adultery
with Bathsheba and the big mess that followed.
Of course, not all discomfort or all interventions
lead to a moment of clarity. Some people will
continue in denial.

But for people who do have an actual moment
of clarity, it is followed by a period of self-examination.

For example, the lost son said, “And here I am
starving to death.” (Luke 15: 17) For the first
time in a long time, he had an accurate picture of
of his true place in life.

This self-examination leads us to repentance,
defined in his way: “a profound change of mind
involving the changing of the direction of life from that
of self-centeredness or sin-centeredness to God or
Christ-centeredness.” We can see the lost son’s
repentance by his actions: “I will set out and go back
to my father…” The next step is confession.
And this shows up in the very next sentence
that comes out of the mouth of the formerly lost son.
“…and say to him: Father I have sinned against heaven and
against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your
son; make me like one of your hired men.” (Luke 15: 19)
When the son reaches home and his father runs out
to greet him, he makes his actual confession.

Thus, in just a few verses in the Bible we have
the son going through five of the 12 steps to recovery.
1) He admits powerlessness.
2) Realizes that his father can help him.
3) Makes a decision to go to his father
4) Decides what he needs to confess.
5) Confesses. And the father forgives him.

For our purposes in this seminar, how do we get out of denial?
Pain or an intervention may lead us toward
a moment of clarity where we see ourselves clearly.

We examine ourselves and see that we need to
repent, which means that we change our direction
so that we are now headed toward Jesus.
Once we do that, we confess how we’ve gone wrong.

Before stopping, let me add that I believe that there
are different levels of denial. Once we get out of the
really big denial where we are on the verge of killing
ourselves and start living a Christ-centered life,
I believe that self-examination starts to become reflexive.
At this stage it is possible that we will repent and confess
sins without having to go all the way to the pig pen
and perhaps with very little pain,
like a twinge of conscience.

Okay, I’m ready for your questions or comments.
Also we’d all be glad to hear your personal experiences.


Don–author What did it take for you to come out of denial?
Describe what it took to bring you to a moment of clarity
and what was that moment like for you.
Also discuss your repentance and/or confession.

Obie-host The floor is open for your questions and comments. Please feel free to share.

BobR My experience was that of the Prodigal son……
I basically went to the pig farm……
lost all my self esteem…..
and the respect of my family and friends…..
I had to hit bottom……
before I finally woke up……
to what was really going on in my life….
the denial had blinded me……
it took lots of pain and anguish to snap me back to reality…..
and the process of “coming home” was doubly painful….
because I had to swallow my pride….
admit my sins……
confess them…..
I felt like heck…..
but then the weight was off my shoulders!
I never expected that sense of freedom I experienced……
Joy actually came back into my life…..
and I started to experience a relationship with my Savior…..
a real relationship!
I have never been the same since.

Obie-host Who would like to ask Don a question or make an observation?
What is YOUR experience?
The floor is open.

Moonsong I was studying choral music education at MSU…
I had finished four years of college…
i was experiencing panic attacks and major anxiety…
i had the delusion of becoming a songwriter…
but i was in heavy denial about myself…
raised in an abusive home…
the competition was fierce at school…
i couldn’t take the pressure and with 16 hours to go quit.
I moved back in with my parents at age 26…
At that time jobs were very very scarce…
like now…
So for two years I pretty much laid on the couch…
I partied with the guy accross the street…
I had nothing and I was nothing…
i had been recording with some guys for about 7 years during this time..
by now my depression was so bad I was pushing them away..
I noticed on TV an advertisement for the book “Power For Living”
I thought that is what I need…so I asked my sister to order it for me..
it was a series of testimonies from famous sport figures…
with the book was a gospel of John…
I read it…
when I got to the end of John and read “these things are written so that you maight believe that Jesus is the Son of God…
and that by believing you may have life in his name…
I remember it like it was yesterday…a moment of clarity…
I believed for the first time in my life that Jesus was real…
I think it was partially because it wasn’t being forced on me…
he said so that you might believe…
Well. during this time one of the guys I jammed with…
became a Christian…
I hadn’t noticed he wasn’t drinking or smoking pot anymore…
He had joined a band while I was going through my depression…
He asked me to join his band which was all Christians…
Man I didn’t feel like it but something made me do it…
So it was with them that I confessed my believe in Jesus for the first time..
Then one of them took me on and studied the book of acts with me and I saw the teaching on baptism…
I hadn’t heard about that before…
about three weeks later I was baptised and when I came up out of the water
something inside me broke and I began to baul like a baby…
all i could say as i hugged the minister was
I must have said that 30 times…
that is how it went for me…done…

bj ty for your testimony Moonsong
Obie-host What a wonderful testimony Moonsong! Thank you for sharing that.
Don–author Wow, thanks for the transparency, Moonsong.

Obie-host Who else would like to share?
Questions? Comments? Thoughts?
If no one else cares to share…..
I guess we will call it a night…..

hank I think denial is part of alcoholism
do you think it is also a sin?

Don–author I think drunkenness is a sin
So denial helps to perpetuate that sin.
Does that work for you, hank?

hank yes
cause it took
me along time like 13 alcohol related
arrest and thousands of dollars and broken relatonships
wrecked cars mental institutions
career lost
before i admited I was powerless over alcohol
I thought i could control it
cause i was only drinking on weekends
now i know it’s not how much you drink
but why you drink..done

Obie-host Any other shares this evening?

bj ty obie
i would just like to ask you don………
you said that if someone had come to you when you were drinking
and told you what you needed ..
it wouldnn’t have been received very well
i have a dear friend ……
who drinks yet says it’s not a problem for her
yet i can tell it is affecting her and her relationships
what are some ways to be supportive without being too harsh in what steps they need to take?

Don–author This is a very big question
it is one that I get often,
but I don’t have a clear-cut answer on that.
At church, people are much more apt to ask me about
their sons, daughters, etc. with drinking problems than to
tell me about their own addictions.
Among Christians, co-dependency must be a huge problem.
EArlier, I talked about a problem that is
really known as cognitive dissonance.
Cognitive = someone’s though processes
dissonance = imbalance
What it is saying that we feel out of balance if
we are exposed to information with which we disagree.
That’s why people in denial are so hard to work with
because they can’t see themselves as others see them.
Instead, they live in a self-destructive delusional world.
I know that the AA literature says that if you try to force
someone into a program,
it probably hurts your future witness with that person.
Sad to say, but most people don’t come out of denial until
they are hurting.
I guess the best way you could be a friend
is not to put up with behavior that is unacceptable.
And be there waiting to help when this individual finally finds a bottom.
Sorry. Wish I could be more helpful.
But we really have no control over someone else’s behavior.

Obie-host Any other shares or questions?
bj that is helpful, don..boundaries and compassion ….thanks so much
carieln yes it does help

carieln kind of going along with bj
I am a former alcoholic, never care to touch the poison again thank you
but married to an alcoholi
not so much in denial as he just likes partying
has had intervention recently
been in detox and a sober living house
came home and now 2 weeks or so drinking again
am not sure whether to push him to AA meetings
or just let him go on his own
I have my own problems to deal with, weight
so I can’t go in denial myself
next step???????

Don–author carieln, I expect that he is, indeed, in denial.
carieln ok
Don–author The fact that he’s been to detox probably indicates this.
I guess the big question is whether you are enabling him.
Also, how long does one stickaround and watch and watch another person
killing himself?
I guess I would be asking what kind of marriage
I had if my spouse was so tied to a bottle.
There are so many factors to consider here, c;
these are just a few.

carieln hard questions but necessary thanks Don

Obie-host Would anyone else care to share?
Don would you like to close us in prayer?

Don–author Yes, I would.
But before I do,
Don–author let me say to everyone how much I
appreciate being with you during the past four weeks.
Also, Obie.
Thanks for all you do.

Let’s pray.
Our Father in Heaven
We are very grateful to come together as we have
during these past four weeks.
We ask that you guide us Father in growing
in faith
Give us the strength to resist the devil.

bj thank You for the wisdom You have given don and that he could come and share with us
Don–author Guide us out of denial and into repentance.
We are ever so grateful, Father, for your great
gift of grace… Your Son, Jesus Christ.
bj yes
Don–author Please bless CIR.
Also, all who are assembled here tonight.
It is through Jesus our Lord we pray…
carieln amen
7:49:31 Moonsong Amen
7:49:32 hank Amen
7:49:32 bj amen
7:49:32 Obie-host Amen

7:49:37 bj ty don:)