I wish to make a disclaimer. I am not a learned person on this topic. I believe in an inner directing voice, but not all inner voices are good voices. There is the Spirit of Christ that urges us. Before either buying in, or else discarding what is written as rubbish, I invite you to connect with this inner voice.

Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” This verse has the key. This contrite spirit will supersede volumes of researched theory. A contrite spirit does not replace medical and psychological understanding. Rather, a contrite spirit and a connection to an all-wise God, the creator of all things, helps us find direction through the maze of voices.

It is no news that addiction finds it easiest to make itself at home in the segment of humanity that possesses an unhealthy dose of self-worth. It is mostly prevalent among people who have been taught by media that their financial circumstances, their race or creed, religious success or failure, and marital or relation issues, suggest that they are not “normal”. It continues to haunt the down and out segment of society. However, addiction is also very evident among people who have grown up in cushy, wealthy environments. It is found in stardom and highly-acclaimed talent. Very successful people are not unlikely slaves to addiction. When we categorize humanity, we are setting a trap for addiction to snap up the innocent and unwary.

We live in an era of time where love in our world has diminished to an alarming level. When we discard love, it leaves such an incredible gap. This gap or void will, or must, be filled. The craving to fill this void is one of the most fertile fields for addiction to take root.

We have well-meaning propagators of religion who use the authority of their calling, who choose segments of supporting theology, and create havoc and harm. We have the account of the adulterous woman, brought to Jesus by the religious authorities, who demanded of Jesus fair and just judgement. I imagine their intent was to eradicate the circles of scum in their midst. Jesus replied that the one of them that had no sin should cast the first stone. (John 8:1-11)

Jesus did not condone sin. He did not make space for wrong behaviour. He said, “Go, and sin no more.” There are types of vices that come with addiction that are sin. This is where some of the debate, especially among religious viewpoints, starts. It becomes a chicken and egg discussion. What came first, the chicken or the egg? At this point, I do not claim to have the direction or understanding for discussion on this topic. However, my thoughts are this. If you, my reader, are a product of low self-esteem, first and foremost, know that God loves you as much as He loves anyone else. You will need to often return to that knowledge.

We have bullies in our midst. They get their jollies in camouflaging their own shortfall by being damaging to others. Then we have the hecklers. These cheer and encourage the bullies, but they prefer to keep their hands clean. These things are real. They are a fact of life.

When addiction plagues a person, the aforementioned paragraph is one of the foundational issues that an addicted person must face.

Self-esteem that has been broken is the prime area for anger to take root. Maybe explosive anger, or perhaps a deep, deep pit anger; an anger so hot there is no smoke coming from the pit. Friends, I’ve been there. God needed to release me of that deep pit of anger. If anger at circumstances troubles you, don’t be afraid to identify it. This anger is your own. It is something God can and will help you with. Changed or improved circumstances will not heal this. God will.

Don Penner