White knuckles wrapped around an empty whisky bottle, and the vacant gaze of a homeless alcoholic defines the raw face of addiction and humanity’s fallen condition. In its vulgar extreme, addiction is easy to see, stripping man of dignity, reduced to an animal, driven by a single desire. But it is those subtle, cultured forms of addiction and compulsive behavior which are so difficult to discern. An alcoholic or drug addict quickly becomes socially isolated but subtle forms of addiction are able to flow quite happily along in the social current, and even be comfortable in the pews of our church.
Addiction is anything that has become stronger than your will power to change. Instead of you being in control, the addiction is all powerful and you feel a sense of helpless to do anything about it...for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him (2 Pet. 2:18,19). Whether it is caffeine or processed sugar, addiction creates impulses, false needs and behavioral patterns which are destructive to well-being, and can have a greater authority in behavior than the natural desire to eat and drink. The salt, fat and crunch of junk food, offer emotions of fulfillment that is lacking because of a spiritual vacuum. Tangible potato chips, replacing an intangible God. Emotional emptiness is the source of addiction. Dependency on pleasure to temporarily numb feelings of hopelessness.
The sensations of hunger and thirst are homeostatic mechanisms, helping the body maintain optimum levels of energy, nutrients and water. Hunger sensations coincide with strong peristaltic contractions of the stomach, increased sensitivity, weakness and irritability. A new-born infant soon learns that these symptoms are relieved by the ingestion of food. When addictive foods are eaten repeatedly, the body adjusts homeostasis to be balanced with the food in the system. Over time the body will become dependent on that substance for homeostatic balance, removing it will cause withdrawal. The body cries out for the missing substance as just intense hunger cries for food. Control has been established on the inside of you. Even if there is an intense desire to lose weight or quit a bad habit, there is often failure and discouragement.
At FreedomYou we take addiction very seriously. If you struggle with any form of addiction, check out our powerful book: Foundation To All Freedom
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