Addiction as a Spiritual Disease


It can be helpful to look at addiction as a spiritual malady with mental, emotional, and physical consequences. Therefore, the recovery is a spiritual recovery, which has mental, emotional, and physical consequences too. If we deal with the spiritual problems, in time we will straighten out mentally and emotionally.

From a Christian perspective, addiction is essentially idolatry in that we seek comfort in people, places, and things other than the Holy Spirit. The object(s) of our addiction(s) becomes the way in which we (our souls) cope with life. In other words, they (the objects of our addiction) become our life source and comforter in that we cannot do without them. They are the best effort of our soul/heart/sin nature/carnal nature/fallen nature/flesh to control our own lives.

When we choose self-effort, we essentially turn our back to God and we stand in judgment of others and ourselves. Relationship on three dimensions has been broken, with God, self and others! We become lonely, isolated, and alone.

The solution is to repent, turn at 180 degrees, and do the opposite of what we have been doing, and reconcile with God. Clean “house” and accept responsibility for our wrongs, and learn to accept ourselves just as God accepts us, and to make amends to those we have harmed and been harmed by.

Charles Kraft in Anthropology for Christian Witness (p213) says:

Idolatry, whether images (Ex 20:4), arrogance (1 Sam 15:23),
covetousness (Col 3:5), or the works of the flesh (Gal 5:20), is
always to be replaced on the basis of the new allegiance [with God].

In John 14:15-18 (Amplified Bible) we read:

15: If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands. 
16: And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever-- 
17: The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you. 
18: I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you.

In other words God will provide us with whatever comfort or help we might ever need for our journey through life.