Dealing With Addictions, Part 2
July 20, 2019
Back home for a visit with her family and her high school friends, Becky was feeling good. She was living in California now; she had a new job, and she had a new boyfriend, John. True, some things about her California life weren’t so perfect (such as dropping out of college), but Becky felt that her life was finally headed in the right direction. When John dropped by to visit for a few days and met Becky’s family, she felt even more sure that he was the one for her and that they’d soon end up married.
After John left, Becky went out partying with her old friends again. Since she’d come back home for her visit, every night had been a nonstop party. That Thursday night was no different. Becky and a friend started drinking and then went to a local bar for more drinks. The next morning Becky was horrified to realize that she remembered nothing about the night before. I’ve lost total control of who I am, Becky realized.
Years of being the life of the party—going all the way back to junior high school—had led to this moment. Becky went into the house and saw her mother asleep on the couch. Becky’s mom sat up as Becky came in and sat down in a nearby chair. Her eyes filling with tears, Becky blurted out, “Mom, I think I’m an alcoholic. Can you help me? What should I do?” (adapted from Becky Tirabassi and Gregg Lewis, Just One Victory [Campus Life Books, 1987]).
These are questions that many teens struggle with. They are searching for real answers. We will find real answers from God’s Word as we study this week’s lesson and read our daily Bible readings. In Philippians 4:13, NKJV, we find that Christ is the answer. We are reminded in 1 Corinthians 6:19, NKJV, that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and belong to God.
In Romans 12:1, 2, NKJV, we see that Christ invites us to surrender our bodies to Him and through Him we can live lives that are pleasing to Him.
God holds us responsible to keep our bodies healthy and our minds clear so we can discern right from wrong. Alcohol inhibits our brains from thinking clearly and being able to make good decisions. Proverbs 20:1, NKJV, says, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”
God promises to help us, to be with us, and to save us when we look to Him for help. Choose today to look to Christ and seek to become the men and women God has designed you to be—strong, healthy, wise, and understanding.
Memory Text: “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57, NKJV).
Our Beliefs, no. 15, Baptism: “By baptism we confess our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and testify of our death to sin and of our purpose to walk in newness of life.”
Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 118, 119
Read Philippians 4:13.
Remember there is nothing that you cannot handle when you have God on your side.
All recovery programs for alcoholics and drug addicts make a big point of the person being treated being able to say, “I’m an alcoholic” or “I’m an addict.” Why do you think it’s so important for people to make that statement before they can get help? Think about a time when you’ve had to admit that you had a problem and needed help (even if it wasn’t an addiction). Was it hard to say, “I’ve got a problem”? How did things change after you admitted you needed help? Or share some other experience you have had with addiction.
Read Acts 16:30-33; Acts 22:16.
The Holy Spirit was sent to convict us of sin, to help those who ask, and give us power to overcome. No matter what your sins are, if you come to Christ He will forgive you and help you.
What sins do you need to confess and ask for help to overcome?
What are some steps that you can take today that will help you in overcoming these sins?
Unscramble and write out the following verse and reference on the lines below to find out what God says to His children.
write you 12 are I name’s your to His NKJV because sake 1 children sins for John little you 2: forgiven
“Repentance includes sorrow for sin and a turning away from it. We shall not renounce sin unless we see its sinfulness; until we turn away from it in heart, there will be no real change in the life” (Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 23).
Read Romans 10:13.
What happens to a person once they recognize they have a problem— that they’re addicted? Well, they’ve already made the first important step, admitting that there is a problem. People can go for months or years denying they have a problem with alcohol, drugs, or any other addiction (to a substance, an activity, or a feeling). When you can finally say, “Yeah, this is a problem. Some things are out of control in my life, and I can’t fix it,” then you’re on the way. Compare Becky’s story from last week’s lesson to this week’s. As a teen, Becky was drinking till she passed out and had blackouts, yet she didn’t believe she had a problem. As a young adult, Becky was finally able to admit, “I’m an alcoholic.” For her, that was the start of getting help and a new life.
Alcoholics Anonymous and many other addiction recovery programs say that the first step is to admit that you’re powerless over your addiction and can’t handle it without help from a Higher Power. This is the same first step we all need to take in becoming Christians—we admit we’re powerless over sin in our lives and can’t conquer it on our own. We need God. And once we admit that, changes can start happening.
Look up the texts and fill in the blanks. If you don’t have one of the Bibles used for this exercise, find it at www.biblegateway.com.
1. “But be to God! He gives us the through our Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57, NIV).
2. “Every God-begotten person conquers the ways. The power that brings the world to its knees is our” (1 John 5:4, The Message).
3. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who us. For I am that neither death nor life, neither nor demons, neither the nor the, nor any powers, neither height nor, nor anything else in all, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39, NIV).
4. “The does not come except to, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10, NKJV).
5. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the of God, that you present your a sacrifice,, to God, which is your reasonable service. And do be to this world, but be by the of your, that you may what is that and and of God” (Romans 12:1, 2, NKJV).
Read Romans 12:1, 2.
Review the memory text.
Saying, “I have an addiction and I’m powerless to quit on my own” doesn’t mean there’s no part for you to play. God can give us the power to overcome all kinds of addictions, but He uses our will.
For example, an alcoholic is kidding themselves if they say, “I can control my drinking. I’ll have just one beer tonight, and not go any further.” Most alcoholics will tell you that kind of thinking will end up with a hangover. But, they do have the power to say, “I choose not to drink today. God, please give me the power to follow through on that choice.”
In any situation, there are lots of choices we can make. We can choose, with God’s help, to say “no” to the thing that tempts us. We can choose to build new habits, better habits. We may need to choose new friends who respect our choices and don’t encourage our addictions. And we can choose to get help when we need it. That could mean sharing with a caring pastor or teacher, counselor, friend, family member, or joining a support group. God gives us other human beings to help us along the road.
Christ invites us to surrender our bodies to Him and through Him we can live lives that are pleasing to Him. God wants to see us free. He wants to see us succeed.
Read 1 Corinthians 6:19.
Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and belong to God. We need to recognize the importance of taking care of our minds and bodies for a life of service here and a life spent with Christ for eternity.
Our lessons this week and last week have focused on addiction. Where do they connect with your life?
A. M aybe you’ve realized that you’re addicted to something (a substance, an activity, or a feeling)—or that there’s something in your life that’s in danger of becoming an addiction. If this applies to you, you may be ready for a change. Write a letter to a Christian you trust, explaining what needs to change in your life so you can break this addiction, what steps you plan to take, and what kind of help you need. Pray about your letter before sharing it with your friend/relative.
B. Maybe addiction is not a problem for you, but you have a friend or family member who is addicted to something. You can’t force them to realize they have a problem if they’re not ready, but you can gently and lovingly point out that you see a problem. Write a letter telling this person why you’re concerned about them. Let them know you’re praying for them and you’re willing to help them find help if they decide to. Pray about your letter before sharing it with them.