The traditional symbol of the medical profession, the serpent on a pole, is commonly known as the staff of Asklepios. This was the name of a Greek physician of the eighth or ninth century BC. And it involved one of the most anomalous events in the Bible. Yet the roots of the serpent and pole symbol go back farther, to the Exodus from Egypt around 1200 BC. When the children of Israel were plagued with venomous snakes, Moses was instructed to “……. “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard (pole); and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live (Num. 21:8, 9).”
Should a Christian gamble or play the lotteries?
No. For every winner, there are always losers. In the case of lotteries there are sometimes hundreds of thousands or millions of losers for every few winners. The winner gets his gain by hurting others, even though the loser has chosen to put himself at risk.
God’s Word teaches that we are to love others more than ourselves. When we do things that hurt others, we violate that principle. It is sin. Lest we think that no one is hurt by gambling, it would be enlightening to talk to professional counselors who have dealt with people who have gambling addictions. Ask about the wives, husbands, and children of gamblers. These are the real losers.
Our Bodies Belong To God
How does a Christian handle temptation?
If I have an addiction, can I still be saved?
Yes! We are not called to perfect ourselves before we come to God. If we could do that, then Jesus could have spared himself the agony of dying of the cross in payment for our sins. He would have simply instructed us to live sin-free lives. He knew, though, that man is utterly incapable of cleansing himself, as demonstrated throughout the Old Testament.
Q: Doesn’t the promotion of the “disease concept” help addicts avoid taking responsibility for their behavior?
A: The only people I’ve ever heard use the “disease concept” as an excuse are practicing alcoholics who have no real intention of changing. I hear something totally different from Rescue Mission counselors and other professionals who subscribe to what has been called the “clinical approach” to treatment and recovery.
An allegory of addiction recovery.
Excellent workbooks and study guide for those in recovery and also for group leaders.
1) Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop this picture. Never think of yourself as failing; never doubt the reality of the mental image. That is most dangerous, for the mind always tries to complete what it pictures. So always picture “success” no matter how badly things seem to be going at the moment.
2) Whenever a negative thought concerning your personal powers come to mind, deliberately voice a positive thought to cancel it out.
Psalm 19:12 NRSV
But who can detect their errors?
Clear me from hidden faults.
Romans 12:14-18 NRSV
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”