From The Chaplain
As chaplain of the mission, I recently taught a series of lessons on addiction to the men. Edward T. Welch’s book on the subject was my primary source. This article is an excerpt from that series.
Who is vulnerable to addiction?
“No one is immune from addiction; it afflicts people of all ages, races, classes, and professions” In his memoirs, former congressman Patrick J. Kennedy frankly discusses some of the addictions that afflicted him and his family for decades. And he is right; no one is exempt. Addiction reaches into every home, taking captive men, women, and children. This article will consider addiction from a biblical perspective and discuss some of the resources that God has provided to avoid being entangled in a web of denial and destruction.
What is addiction?
Addictions come in all shapes and sizes. While the Bible focuses on the perils of sex, alcohol, and gluttony, there are many others: opioids, nicotine, gambling, social media, caffeine, shoplifting, pornography, cutting, bulimia, and chocolate to name a few. What often begins innocently enough soon turns into a demanding habit that controls your destiny.
“Only two choices on the shelf: pleasing God or pleasing self” (Ken Collier). That simple phrase summarized the complex issue of addiction. It is a conscious choice between worshipping the God of heaven or the pleasures of earth. The addict chooses to pursue activities and/or substances for personal pleasure rather than live for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Whether it is wise or legal is beside the point.
What does addiction feel like?
Once the addict is well on his way, he will feel trapped and out of control. He will feel helplessly devoted to her new “god” regardless of the harm it causes to herself or others. There will be an insatiable hunger and thirst for the forbidden and unattainable. He will trudge on despite the pain and sorrow. Bondage will take up residence while all hope flees.
What does Scripture say?
Beware of the deceptive power of habitual sin. “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Galatians 6:7). It is folly to believe that one can live in sin and avoid the consequences. “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned” (Proverbs 6:27)?
Be thankful for the loving rebuke of a faithful friend. When David committed adultery with Bathsheba and tried to cover his tracks by murdering her husband, God sent the prophet Nathan to confront him (cf. 2 Samuel 12:1-10).
The Bible is more than a twelve-step program of self-improvement. It offers real hope for all who repent of sin and turn to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. “[God] saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:5–6). The Christian life is all about following the character of Christ, in the power of Christ, for the glory of Christ.
How should you respond?
God reassures his children that he will help them in their struggles with the world, the flesh, and the devil. “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire” (2 Peter 1:3–4). The struggle is real, but relief is possible through faith in Christ and obedience to his Word.
The addict will find hope as he commits himself to a loving, wise, and all-powerful God.
From the Women's Pregnancy Director's Desk
Summer is winding down and schools are trying to get going the best they can. Our clients are excited about their pregnancies, but they are also concerned about these uncertain times.
Pat Lee from Knox County Right to Life contacted me about the annual baby shower fundraiser they sponsor for the Women’s Pregnancy Center. It would be the 17th year they have hosted the event. Given the current situation, I was not expecting this at all. Keeping it simple this year, Pat proposed a Drive-Thru Baby Shower. It took place on Saturday, August 15 and was a great success and so much fun. We had the blessing of saying hello to over 30 persons who came through the line. Check out the Women’s Pregnancy Center page on Facebook to see the pictures that Jackie, our social media volunteer, posted. Together we can keep the center moving forward and ministering to many women in our community and the surrounding area.
A big thank you to Knox County Right to Life! Also, a big thanks to all those in our community who support the center by volunteering, praying, and giving. We could not exist without faithful and generous friends like you.
It is through your spiritual and financial support that we can minister to these women in ways that will help calm their concerns and help them see the future more clearly. We can tell them of God’s love and how He will sustain them even through their most difficult trials. Scripture says in Psalm 46:1, “God is our shelter from the storm, our refuge in times of trouble.”
In God’s time and greatness,
PS We have an urgent need! For some time, we have been using Homes of Honor to teach our ladies about parenting. This is a two-DVD set with over four hours of invaluable teaching by Dr. Gary Smalley. Unfortunately, our set has been damaged and it is no longer being produced. Perhaps you have a copy in your library, or maybe your church has an extra copy that they could donate to the center. If you can help, please let us know. We would appreciate it greatly.
Very Important Notice
Because we switched our phone service from Century Link to Comcast in 2018 in order to be better stewards of God's resources, we discovered that we are no longer listed in the 2019 Century Link phone book or the 2019-2020 Yellowbook. The Galesburg Rescue Mission & Women's Shelter, located at 435 East Third Street, Galesburg, Illinois, continues to have our (309) 343-4151 phone number! Our Women's Pregnancy Center's phone number is (309) 343-4739 and is located at 1252 East Fremont Street in Galesburg. Please add these phone numbers to your phone book or other phone lists and share our phone number with others....
Thanks for your great help in this matter.