"Overcome" Addiction Recovery Bible Study Guide by Joshua Staton

Depression and Hope

Made of Habits – Lesson 3 of the “Overcome” Addiction Recovery Bible Study Guide

It is ok to be sad and even sorrowful at times.  But when you stay there, your perspective becomes skewed.  Days become un-necessarily dreary and you begin to see life through gray colored lenses.  Depression is at times, more of a choice and a lifestyle than an unbreakable curse upon us.  To buy in to this lie is to give up on hope for a better day.

I dislike teaching a class on depression for a very selfish reason, because the chance is always great that you will dig up old things and wind up getting pulled into the vortex.  Depression is magnetic.  You would be surprised at how easy it is when things are going good just to entertain the thought of something that happened in the past and begin dwelling on it, re-living those sources of depression.  So, we are not going to do that.  Instead we will do a quick fly by on depression but focus our attention on the application section at the end.

I do not believe it is by chance that the average age of onset for major persistent depression is 31-32.5 years of age.  For many, in our day and time, around this age is when idealized dreams begin to disintegrate.  Depression is characterized by an overwhelming sadness, low energy and loss of interest, anger and anxiety.  No longer living, just existing.  However, for this discussion, I am going to define depression as a habit of thought you entertain longer than necessary to establish a perceived reality.

Diagnostic Questions

The best way I can concisely define depression is to say it is an internal question, that we don’t necessarily ask ourselves or are even cognizant that this thought is going on in our minds, but it is a fill in the blank:

How will life go on without _________?

What areas in our lives provoke feelings of depression?  Write them down, because these will be the very areas we pray that God will show us hope.  It’s obvious we don’t get depressed over things we have no interest in.  We get depressed about losses that we value:  Loss of a job, break-ups, vacation ending, achievement, unmet expectations, rejection, loneliness, poor decisions that caused pain to you or others, loss of freedom/mobility, sickness, loss of a loved one, and social isolation.

We have this picture of what life is supposed to be and many times that picture never develops.  We dwell on this loss consistently.  It becomes a regular practice that we find ourselves returning to daily.  It becomes our focus and we essentially say I give up.  For me, depression primarily relates to addiction in the sense that we are looking for things to make the pain go away, don’t want to deal with this now, this will make everything better.  And for many of us, we commit to this false dream that always fails us.

Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.

Proverbs 16:20

Coming to Terms

What is your first reaction to loss or when something didn’t live up to what you thought it would be?  For many, including myself, it is anger that consistently weaves and worms its way to depression.  Our scripture reference for this topic comes from Jeremiah.  To fully understand this verse, we have to understand the context from which it came (Reference Jeremiah 29:4-14 for the full context)

For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

Because of Israel’s continued disobedience, they would be taken captive by the Babylonians. God is speaking to them by Jeremiah through a letter.  He tells them to continue living life.  Build houses, dwell in them, plant gardens and eat of them, marry and have children.  Also, to seek the welfare of the city they have been exiled to, to pray for it, because by doing so they would find their welfare in the city.  They’ve lost house, home, land, their temples, their city.  God even tells them this exile will last for 70 years before He comes back to free them.  Think about that, captive for 70 years.  An entire generation.  Many would die a slave in a foreign land.

By all accounts, they have a right to be sad, to be depressed.  But God told them to keep living life.  This seems like such a peculiar sentiment.  I feel that it was because of our proclivity to focus on our circumstances and get overwhelmed and lose all perspective.  He didn’t tell them to give up or give in.  He told them to keep living.  Go about a good routine.  And he even ended it with not only a promise, but perspective.  If we cannot come to terms with the loss, we will become trapped in the routine and cycle it over and over.  It becomes our soundtrack.

Overcome Addiction Recovery Bible Study Guide Application – Break the Routine

How many of you have a morning routine?  What happens when that routine is interfered with?  For me being a recovering addict, routines are easy to create, just as long as we are interested in them.  We are great at creating habits.  However, the difference between success and failure at the things that matter in life are the habits we choose to create.

It takes work, it takes effort and intentionality to not only break a bad habit, but to begin a better one.  And as much as depression is a habit, hope is a habit as well.  Hope requires us to not just focus on the bad or the good, but God:  For I know the plans I have for you in the midst of the bad.  We may not see the entirety of His plans…We doubt God’s goodness and His plans, which never turns out well for us.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8

Not that this is a comprehensive list or even ordered in the way it may directly work best for you, but it is as logical as I can surmise the act of replacement.  One last note before the list begins.  In all of these applications, feelings will fail you.  You choose to do this not because you feel like it, but because of the outcome.  We do this, knowing it will produce a long-term gain, fruit.

  1.  Become self-aware of your habits.  The best way to do this is to slow down and look at your life.  A sign of spiritual growth is becoming more aware of our natural bend as it demonstrates itself in our decisions and daily habits.
  •  Break destructive habits by replacing them with spiritual, productive ones.  Sometimes it is as simple as making the effort, whether you want to or not.  Like going to the gym or exercising, most people are not initially excited about it.  But months after the hard work, they begin to see results.  It is the same way with getting into God’s word.  The yield it produces not only is profitable for you, but for others around you.  So, ask yourself, what is something good, worthy of my time to focus on, to learn, to do?
  •  Lastly, focus on the fact that you are loved enough and cared about enough that Jesus chose to die for you and wants more for you than to be under the thumb of depression.  He wants you to be full of hope.  And all of this to say, this is where you put yourself to find hope…
The “Overcome” Addiction Recovery Bible Study Guide is part of the discipleship program at First Contact Ministries in Hendersonville, NC.

Did you miss the other lessons in this series? Click see the entire the “Overcome” Addiction Recovery Bible Study Guide.

We always look forward to meeting new people at our Tuesday night support group meetings at 6:30 pm, located at Mud Creek Church in Hendersonville, NC.  Our classes are designed to teach biblical principles for addiction recovery through discipleship.  Our goal is to show the love of Jesus by supporting those who need it most.

For more information or to purchase “The Resistance” by Josh Staton to use as a Christian leadership book, or curriculum for an addiction recovery class, please visit: The Resistance: Becoming A Servant Leader Through the Beatitudes Christian Leadership Book

"Overcome" Addiction Recovery Study Guide by Joshua Staton.

Rejection and Acceptance

Identity Crisis – Lesson 2 of the “Overcome” Addiction Recovery Study Guide

To whom do we look to give us our self-worth?  For some of us it may be our family and for others it may be their job.  Relationships, professions and possessions will ultimately fail to satisfy our need for acceptance.  With an inaccurate view of ourselves and our importance, we often do things we really don’t want to in efforts to obtain love and the feeling of security.

Rejection is a rather sensitive subject and must be handled accordingly, just like plutonium.  To put it quite bluntly, as a doctor, I have horrible bedside manner.  Sometimes I tell people they have to get over things.  But in this case, this isn’t something that you can get over or go around.  You can’t expect it to go away and not affect life anymore.  The only way is through it.  Ignoring it and trying to bury it will only disguise it.  Our actions and thoughts will always undermine our intentions if we do not acknowledge the block and deal with it head-on.

The Security of our Identity

Succinctly, rejection and acceptance are ultimately questions of the security of our identity.  The answer lurks in what we value, what we are willing to sacrifice for and what we find our personal worth in.  and the easiest way to find this out is by filling in the blank below:

__________ gives me a sense of worth.

This topic is my personal issue.  This drives my want to isolate.  This affects me daily, but it was only after I became aware of it, I saw how much it has affected me.  Much of what I did was to be accepted by the worlds’ standards, by other humans and I learned it because of rejection at home in childhood.  That’s why it is so important to acknowledge it and address it before we reproduce it as adults.  Rejection leads us to look other places to be fulfilled, and that is usually the wrong thing.

We have a worldly identity and a Godly identity, and we are building one or the other.  Period.  There is almost always a gap between these two and depending on the circumstance, most of us lean one way or the other.  The further we lean to one, the more acceptance we have from that one and rejection we feel from the other.  Rejection is far reaching and entrenching.  Rejection will undermine progress, motivation and purpose in your life.  Rejection breeds rejection. It’s like a virus, and it is generational.

Name Tags

First, write down the first three questions that come to mind that you would ask during a casual conversation to get to know them better.  This should be easier than the following question.

Next, write down three questions you wish someone would ask you during that same type of conversation.  Little trickier, isn’t it?

Some people are great at dialoging even with a complete stranger.  Whether or not we want to admit it, we are judging and assigning value to others, the problem is we usually do this subconsciously by assigning worth to what they value; are they similar to me, do I want to know more about them or move on.  We label them.

Speaking of labels, what labels has the world given you in the past?  What were you known for?  Spend some time and think about this exercise.  Write them down, we are going to come back to them in a minute.  When we attach labels, consciously or unconsciously, we are judging and assigning value, even to ourselves, especially when we get rejected because of the grimy and gritty past.

Jesus’s promise

To fully understand the context of this scripture, I encourage you to read the entirety of John chapter 6.  But here is the build-up:  Jesus has fed 5000 and performed many miracles.  He is promising to not only take care of their earthly needs, but their spiritual and eternal needs.  The crowd is festive and loving Him and ready to make Him king…

All that the father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

John 6:37

Notice the first word in verse 6:37- All.  Many people adopt the false reality that they have to clean themselves up before coming to Christ.  That’s not how it works… Jesus knows all the grime and grit already.  Jesus will always be there to not only accept you, but to repair you, to equip you.  He doesn’t call us to clean ourselves up before we come to Him.  He calls us as we are, not based on our works but His work.  

Rejection of Jesus

Picking back up where we left off, Jesus has fed a couple thousand people, and departed to the other side of the sea.  The very next day, they see Him on the other side and rush across the water to Him.  However, He draws a line in the sand by saying that no one can come to the father but by Him, whom the Father has sent.  And before too long, the entire scene changes…

He calls them out for only wanting what they can get from Him.  By the end of John 6, many of the ones looking to get something from Jesus would turn their back on Him and no longer follow.  This rejection is coming from a group, from the public; ones who really didn’t know or understand Him.  They came to Him for miracles, to be healed and fed, but that was all they wanted.  They were only accepting Him because of His works and what He did for them, it wasn’t based on their belief.  A rejection that was prophesied:

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Isaiah 53:3

Overcome Addiction Recovery Study Guide
Application – Adopting a New Label

Earlier I asked you to list out the labels the world has given you.  Those are the choices that Jesus died for, to bring us back into a right relationship with the father.  Our acceptance from Jesus is not based on works, but belief.  It is not based on performance or possessions, but faith.  Jesus’ acceptance is not like waiting on a raise at work that never comes or approval from a spouse or being asked to join some club.  It is the belief that Jesus is who He said He is. Think about what we have discussed and look at your list again.  I want you to notice one more word in our verse of John 6:37. The word – whoever.  Now, I want you to mark through each one of those labels the world has given you and write beside it whoever.  Trust in the words All and whoever.  John 6:37 is a beautiful promise and proclamation that you are unique, a special part of God’s plan here on Earth, for your sphere of influence, that He “will never cast out.”  You are worth the price He paid on the cross because of His great love for you.

The “Overcome” Addiction Recovery Study Guide is part of the discipleship program at First Contact Ministries in Hendersonville, NC.

Did you miss the other lessons in this series? Click see the entire the “Overcome” Addiction Recovery Study Guide.

We always look forward to meeting new people at our Tuesday night support group meetings at 6:30 pm, located at Mud Creek Church in Hendersonville, NC.  Our classes are designed to teach biblical principles for addiction recovery through discipleship.  Our goal is to show the love of Jesus by supporting those who need it most.

For more information or to purchase “The Resistance” by Josh Staton to use as a Christian leadership book, or curriculum for an addiction recovery class, please visit: The Resistance: Becoming A Servant Leader Through the Beatitudes Christian Leadership Book

The "Overcome" Addiction Recovery Curriculum

Isolation and Encouragement

Rotting Fruit on the Vine Lesson 1 of the “Overcome” Addiction Recovery Curriculum

There is nothing more disheartening or defeating, than for a farmer to look out on his orchards and see fruit rotting on the vines.  This is a two-fold failure.  Wasted effort on his part and wasted resources that could have gone to something more productive.  It’s not that the tree is incapable of producing fruit, it is simply left abandoned.  Fruit bearing trees, much like us humans were not designed to operate in isolation.  In fact, nothing in our universe is created to operate by itself.

When someone does you wrong, when you get hurt, what is your first reaction?  For many of us it may be anger or sadness.  But for some of us, our first reaction is to withdraw.  We isolate from everything, including God.  By isolating, we focus on the offense and on the self.  We become near-sighted so much so, that we no longer look outside of ourselves, and the weight slowly becomes unbearable.

While the contrasts between introversion and extroversion are entertaining to discuss, they sadly don’t factor into this discussion on isolation.  We are talking about isolation as an emotional response to what another person may or may not have done.  It becomes an effect.  We don’t typically isolate when things are going well.  Isolation is a reaction we have when we are hurt or feel rejected.  I was angry with God for the biggest portion of my life and all I produced was destruction.  Dead fruit.

An individual needs a correct Godly perspective if they are to combat this deadly device that is used by our enemy.  Satan’s main objective is to separate us from others; to get us away from those who can speak grace, truth, compassion, guidance and correction into our life.  Those that would encourage us to keep walking instead of withdrawing or looking to the company of those who would bring us down.  Misery loves company in that sense.  We all need someone in our lives who is going to say “Look, I love you, but you are screwing up.”

Jesus Reached Out

We begin our series with the second shortest verse we cover.  And by all accounts, this is a relatively easy one to memorize.

I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.

John 14:18

The context of this scripture is what is ultimately important.  Jesus is speaking and makes a promise to His followers.  This is during the last supper, what is typically referred to as the Upper Room Discourse and it is the promise of the Holy Spirit.  Memorize it.  Claim it.  Pray it back to God.

When I first became a Christ follower, I was repeatedly told to hold on to God’s promises.  At the time I had no clue what they were talking about.  No one specifically told me what they were or what it meant, or even where to find them.  I know from personal experience, when the darkness begins its slow creep, you need something to hold on to.  You need an anchor.  You need a promise.  For all of us, God’s word must speak louder than the world if we are going to overcome anything.  Knowing and believing what is in the bible is the difference between being overcome versus overcoming.

Unfortunately, isolation is my preferred means of existence.  For me, it is safer and less headache.  Completely selfish, I admit.  It is easy to diagnose from the outside looking in, almost impossible to recognize for the one disengaging from society though.  Why?  Because it is a justified reaction.  It is so engrained in our thought process that it is the only logical conclusion, a defense mechanism, the go-to when we need it.  The stark reality is, when I began to handle everything by isolating, the descent into darkness became all the much easier and attractive.  When we isolate, we only seek to serve ourselves and that becomes a cyclical cycle that quickly morphs into a spiral.  To break the pattern, we have to seek to serve others.

Now, how do we get from wilting to bloom, from being isolated to serving others?  Sound like a pretty hefty task?  Firstly, we realize that when we isolate, we are focusing so intensely on ourselves and our circumstances that we don’t think about anything else.  We are consumed by it.  With all of this being said, here is the main point:

Overcome Addiction Recovery Curriculum
Application – Focus Less on SELF by Serving OTHERS

Serving others can look like many different things.  Actions, words, presence.  Some illustrations can range from encouraging someone to keep doing well if you know they are struggling, all the way to simply holding the door for someone else, even a courteous thank you.  Have you ever feel alone going through recovery?  Chances are other people do too.  Part of recovery is not only being willing to have someone reach into your life, but also being obedient to reach into someone else’s life, as God directs. 

Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up just as you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

The people we come into contact with on a daily basis is the mission field.  These may be your coworkers, your family, your friends.  And God has equipped you with a story comprised of your hurts, your struggles, your victories… your testimony.  He has also equipped you with talents and gifts.  God has placed you in these positions and situations you are in for a purpose.  His glory.  All of this leads to a final application:

Seek an opportunity to serve one person this week.

Did you miss the other lessons in this series? Click see the entire the Overcome: Addiction Recovery Curriculum Series.

We always look forward to meeting new people at our Tuesday night support group meetings at 6:30 pm, located at Mud Creek Church in Hendersonville, NC.  Our classes are designed to teach biblical principles for addiction recovery through discipleship.  Our goal is to show the love of Jesus by supporting those who need it most.

For more information or to purchase “The Resistance” by Josh Staton to use as a Christian leadership book, or curriculum for an addiction recovery class, please visit: The Resistance: Becoming A Servant Leader Through the Beatitudes Christian Leadership Book

Introduction to “Overcome” Addiction Recovery Bible Study

About the Author – Joshua Staton

The hardest battle I fight when writing is determining what to say and what not to say.  I sit at this table, engaging in the perpetual war of words and how they combine together to form thoughts.  In the midst of this current literary struggle, I am reminded of a time not too long ago when I found myself fighting a battle, whose outcome would result in either suicide or redemption.  I was not a Christ follower the first 32 years of my life.  In fact, I was proud to call myself an atheist.  In my early teens I began self-medicating with alcohol to numb the pain of life, which began a destructive progression into various other drugs and lifestyles that required pain killers in the morning and pharmaceutical methamphetamines throughout the day just to maintain. This cycle repeated almost every day for over 18 years.

Getting sober and establishing priorities was not easy and the first year was brutal, especially when you have alienated your closest friends and family.  But I believe that is where God wanted me; with nowhere to turn but to Him.  Since I myself lacked support, I began to form the opinion that support groups were created for weak willed people.  That, if you were serious about getting clean you would commit to it, regardless if you had someone cheering you on or not. As I said, these were my opinions; faulty and prideful. And like everything else in life, I did it the hard way.

About 3 years into my recovery, a friend of my wife mentioned that a ministry she had been volunteering with needed guys to be mentors for their substance abuse program.  Not knowing any better I said yes.  Fast forward a few months and the man that founded that ministry asked if I would be interested in teaching a class.  I sat at this very table over Christmas break researching and designing what I thought would be a support group that even I would want to go to.

On the Subject of Addiction

I am not what people would call a compassionate person.  A classically trained teacher I am not, nor do I feel properly equipped to be a leader or even a motivational speaker.  I am not an expert, nor do I have plaques hanging on the wall telling of my accomplishments. I am however an observer and a writer.  Truth be told, I am probably the least qualified person in this regard to write about addiction and treatment.  Sadly, that does not make me any less responsible.  Because unfortunately in my world, if you are aware of a piece of knowledge, you are then responsible with what you do or don’t do with that knowledge. 

What I can offer are observations and analysis on life and confess where self-centered worldly logic and common sense have failed me.  Not every situation or outcome is going to make sense in life.  In fact, much of life doesn’t make sense.  We must face the truth that we live in a fallen world corrupted by sins that we all have contributed to.  Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people.  The hardworking folks of one generation get passed over for recognition, while others who back stab and do the very least always seem to get the big promotion.  Still, there are children who have everything handed to them just to throw it away while other kids come from broken homes and only want someone to love and invest in them.  And at the same time people win the lottery and blow it all on frivolous things while people in tiny villages die every day from diseases that could have been treated but weren’t able to because of money.  Do not confuse what I am saying, I am not a socialist nor do I identify with any left or right, north or south, red or blue.  My statements are not politically motivated.  They are of a nature of something a little more important, they are spiritually motivated.

If you are an addict, you are going to devote your life to something.  We are not like other people. I believe when properly directed, the mind of an addict has far more potential than other minds. I do not believe it is by coincidence that God has given you that potential and urge to dive in.  We want to re-focus that urge.  We are investments.  Invested with a soul, talents and desires to realize our potential and bring glory to our Creator.  But for most of us, we go our entire life without understanding what we have been given, nor what we should do with it.  Without direction we soon end up lost, navigating life with faulty information and guidance from a fallen world.  Tragically, we get distracted and discouraged by things that seem important or bring us temporary relief.  We eventually look for anything to fill the desolation, for something to heal our pain, except that which can truly heal.  Soon, everything we are using to fill our emptiness only makes the void that much larger and harder to satisfy.

While I do not know your story specifically, I do understand the human story and the stage with which it takes place on.  If you are looking for things on earth to make sense or fulfill you, you are going to be disappointed.  You are not the only one to experience this revelation of hopelessness.  The revelation that begins with a sinking feeling you may have felt in childhood, in your teen years, in your adult years that all your hopes and dreams may not come true.  That you may not be able to reconcile with that family member, that you may never get the apology you feel you deserve, that you won’t get recognized for all your hard work, that the never-ending fights with your spouse may never end, that if one more thing goes wrong you’ll be out on the street, that you are going to have to raise this kid all by yourself, that no matter how hard you try things will never get any better, that you will always carry a label, that all of the investment, the hopes, the expectations, the hard work has been for nothing, that it is better to just give up and live in the lie of hopelessness the world wants to sell you.

You are not alone.

The problem is we are looking for earthly solutions to satisfy a spiritual problem that revolves around a deficiency within our soul.  Unfortunately, the longer we hold tight to the lie that the distractions will fix our deficiency, it will eventually give way to needing more and more, allowing things to get worse and worse.  Complications then arise when we are unable to fathom the thought of having to do without our distractions.  The mind recoils in horror at the mere mention of having to find something else that works.  We take ownership of our solution but in reality, our solution now owns us.  We want to believe the lie that we can find happiness and meaning on this earth in things, rather than a relationship with our Creator and Savior.

Intention

We are a hurting people.  We hurt each other and we hurt ourselves.  This series isn’t meant to make you feel good about bad choices, nor give you a get out of jail free card for the past.  There is nothing that I can say or write that will change your mind or convince you that you may need to re-evaluate life and choices.  I can speculate and try to cover as many bases as possible, but the fact of the matter is I will never be able to pinpoint exactly where things went wrong or why.  We are a messy, complicated species.

What I can do is give you an understanding of what this blog series is and is not.  It is not about “10 Ways to Find Happiness in Life”, or “Top 5 Life Hacks”, nor even “3 Fool-Proof Methods for Change”.  It is not self-help literature or even a feel-good coming of age tale about a girl and a boy.  This is about the spiritual trenches we find ourselves fighting in, day in and day out, the exhausting grind we resort to and why we have to come to the understanding that we were not created to live life by seeking to fill the deep spiritual void within ourselves by any means necessary.  This only leads to the void growing into a confusing headache when it comes time to sort it all out.  We have to learn how to fight in this trench by replacing the all too familiar and destructive reactions with a biblical response.  We have to switch weapons.

This series is intended to confront any addictive sin that has destroyed your life or that you are on the path to destruction with.  You see, you don’t always have to be in the throes of an addiction to understand that it is a sin.  It is another thing that we allow and even encourage to take God’s place in our lives.  That’s what sin does.  This can be done with alcohol and gambling, lust and methamphetamines, anger and jealousy; anything that can create an upheaval in your life and send you down the wrong paths, leading to cataclysmic disintegration.   Make no mistake, you are in a war. You will fight battles at times on this journey but, rejoice and rest in the fact that you do not have to fight alone.

We strive to educate you about reactions, encourage you to respond by engaging actively in your sobriety and walk with Christ.  Because at the end of the day, we are commanded to love others and make disciples.  We love others where they are, but, love them enough to not just leave them there.

Jesus called his disciples from where they were, fishing and collecting taxes.  He didn’t set up “Jerusalem’s Got Talent” to find the best, brightest and most polished.  Why?   Because it’s not about us and what we can do, it’s about Him and what He does, which is everything.  He is in the business of redeeming and re-purposing.  We may have been addicts, but He has called us to a greater purpose.  You see, it’s not just about getting you clean or sober, it’s not just passing a drug test, it’s not just about fire insurance, it’s about transformation.

When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”

Matthew 12:43-45

If you are seeking recovery or sobriety without the Lord, you may find it.  But I am a firm believer that if you are seeking Jesus, you will find recovery.

Overcome Addiction Recovery Bible Study – Origin and Present Day

The premise for Overcome is rather simple:  addiction as a side effect of a much larger issue.  Usually a lot of hidden issues that act as motivations for addiction, which we address in 18 topical sessions.  There was no way I could be all inclusive with the motivations, if I was, the class would go on and on and on.  Regardless, from research and examples in my own life, I began to see trends in emotional reactions I had resulting from circumstances and strings of situations that could have turned out much differently had I exhibited a few mature thoughts and what the bible calls wisdom and discretion.  I have, however, realized I am always going to have the need to pour myself into something.  Good or bad.  I could choose to fight that personality flaw and live an exhausting existence mired down by restraint or give it to God and let Him transform it into something better.

The creation of the Overcome Addiction Recovery Bible study curriculum and the requirements that it needed to meet was not as simple as I would have liked.  The individuals coming to this substance abuse ministry meant that there would be some that were “un-churched”, some that may not make it to every meeting, others that would come into the schedule half-way through and still others that were “tourists”.  Some were catholic, while others atheist.  Some fresh out of rehab, and others high, walking in off the street.  As much as I would have liked to sit down and built this as a progressing class, I was not able to. Each session had to stand on its own and be flexible enough that newcomers wouldn’t be lost walking in halfway through the semester.  However, in maintaining sobriety, as well as your relationship with Christ, there is one key principle: Consistently Strive, regardless of the circumstances.  If you fall, get back up.

The table is a little more worn now.  There is nothing particularly fancy about it.  If memory serves, we bought it at a thrift store for $10 a long time ago.  It is rickety and creaks when you put weight on it.  The varnish has faded and there are chunks of mac and cheese that need to be chiseled off because the kids have poor aim.  It has seen its fair share of use since the first battle, but the table still serves its intended purpose.  I believe that everything serves a purpose, but sometimes we have to be instructed in the proper way to use it. Sometimes we use faulty methods in life just to get by instead of using correct ones to actually live by.

Until next time…

Did you miss the other lessons? Click to see the entire Overcome: Addiction Recovery Bible Study.

For more information or to purchase “The Resistance: Becoming A Servant Leader through the Beatitudes by Josh Staton (on Amazon) to use as a Christian leadership book, or curriculum for an addiction recovery class, please visit:

The Resistance: Becoming A Servant Leader Through the Beatitudes Christian Leadership Book

Click to see the entire The Resistance: Becoming a Servant Leader through the Beatitudes Biblical Leadership Series.

If you are in the Hendersonville, NC area, join us for an addiction recovery class. Click for more information on attending a First Contact Ministries support group for individuals or families struggling with addiction issues.