99Relapses Podcast Episode #18 Part I- Show Transcript
Hi, I’m James Egidio Welcome to the 99relapses podcast. The podcast that moves you from recovery to discovery through the grace and mercy of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. This is episode number 18, part one. Titled identity and addiction. In this episode, I will discuss what identity is and how it defines your addiction. In the secular world versus how God identifies you. I just wanted to mention a couple side notes. And that is for all my listeners who have been listening up to this point, the first 17 episodes. I took the entire month of August off because I took a family vacation, and then the next thing I wanted to mention was I am moving forward, starting in September in what I call phase two of the 99Relapses podcast where I will be adding like video snippets of episodes, a segment called episodes videos Q and A as well as bring guests on and their family members of guests who have compelling stories of getting through addiction by way of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. But without further ado, let me get into this podcast and again, it’s titled Identity and Addiction. The secular definition for identity through Miriam Webster dictionary defines identity as the distinguishing character or personality of an individual. However to expand on this dictionary definition. I’d like to break this definition down even further into how you identify with self or self identity and how today’s society identifies with individuals based on gender. When you go through a whirlwind emotion of an out of control addiction you lose self identity as to who and what defines you as a person and even as a child of God and what’d you find yourself doing as you find yourself adopting and adapting to the world’s view and standards for self identity and reassurance. So I’d like to start with today’s worldly view of how individuals are identified. It wasn’t long ago that the most common and obvious way we were identified by society, was by gender and that is male and female the way God created you is found in. Genesis 1:27, which reads. So God created human beings in his own image, in the image of God, he created male and female, he created. This was the basic and most obvious way of being identified the way God created you after you were born. Over time, people became identified by socioeconomic status. Rich, poor educated, uneducated Democrat, Republican. And this of course is the worldly view, which was expanded from how we were identified through our gender and the way God created us. And then of course, things have circled back to gender, and gender identity in today’s world. And as you may or may not know, it has become one of the topics of conversation and is constantly being pushed by the media and comes straight out of hell this way of identifying people through their gender. So much so that there’s actually a name for it’s called gender dysphoria, which is defined as a severe discomfort and one’s biological sex and this affects about 0.01% of the population and it’s most common in males and females because it only affects a small percentage of the population that’s at the top of the list, like I said, for getting the most media attention and coverage. it’s also being pushed into the school system to children as young as four and five years old. Which is really sad because it’s creating a lot of confusion among today’s youth so much so that it leads to depression and even suicide among children and teenagers. And then they’re even going as far as doing chemical castration at as, young as eight and nine years old on children. So some of these categories actually have subcategories to them and I won’t get too much into this, but there’s, what’s called gender expression, which is the external appearance of one’s gender identity and this is usually expressed through behavior, clothing, body characteristics or voice and which may or may not conform to social behaviors and characteristics typically associated with either masculine or feminine. The second main category is transgender. There’s a variety of sub categories under transgender. Now, like I said, I won’t get too much into this, but there’s a gay, lesbian, bisexual bi gender agender gender fluid, gender queer, and so on and so forth. Not to mention a recent article that I read, where a woman in New Zealand identified herself as a cat, as well as how people self identify with other people through status and money, power and prestige. You could see that all this is going down a real dark path in terms of self identity and you’re probably asking yourself what does this have to do with my addiction? And as none of this sentiment about gender identity or identifying through other people, places and things is true, it’s out of touch with reality and with God’s will and purpose for your life. And the life of even future generations. Unfortunately we allow these societal ideologies to take hold of how we identify with ourselves through people, places and things and then what happens especially during an addiction, like I said, an out of control addiction, you have, what’s called the problem of control. And I’ll talk about that further in part two episode number 19 of this two part series and how identity leads to the problem of control with addiction. But the key things to keep in mind for now is that our identity through God is created in his image, which is a blessing and a responsibility. And the blessing is that you were created to have an intimate communication with God. He gave you that desire, as I had mentioned in episodes, number four and number five, titled Desire. And How it is Related to Addiction. God gave us his only begotten son. Jesus Christ because he loved the world as found in verse John 3:16-17 where it reads for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. who ever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. The identity that we seek from society. Is sin, it’s covenance. It’s a covenant sin and this sin is rebellion, and this rebellion leads into addiction, which separates you from God and leaves you with the inability to communicate with God. But God created you uniquely and you got to keep that in mind. And he created you uniquely for intimacy with him through Jesus Christ and with the holy spirit, that’s God living within you. It’s the Trinity. It’s God, the father. The son, Jesus Christ and the holy spirit that lives within and Jesus Christ paid that ultimate price as the sacrificial lamb to shed his blood for all mankind. And he was sinless and Jesus Christ died for our sins. And let me just stop there for a moment. If you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, now’s the time to do it. And remember another thing your identity is not defined by other people or groups of people nor by places or things material. But it’s by God and God only. And it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve relapsed. Or what you’ve been through, what matters is that you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior and you repent for your sins and have that direct relationship with Jesus Christ. And the way to do that as I’ve mentioned this time and time again in many episodes, is that through the Holy Bible and its entirety and God’s word and truth. It all starts in Genesis and it ends in Revelation and it is God’s way to Communicate with you intimately and to guide your life because God loves The Bible is more than sufficient to answer all of life’s questions and it’s not possible to have an intimate relationship without two-way communication. God’s love is described in Hebrews 13:8 as Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. And of course the new Testament even says God loves you and created a way for you to be restored to intimacy with God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I’m going to take a short commercial break. And when I come back, I’ll talk about shame and guilt and its role in addiction. Okay, welcome back to the 99Relapses podcast in the first portion of this podcast episode, before I took the commercial break, I talked about how the secular world identifies you. And then I mentioned a little bit about how God identifies you. And I’ll get into that even more so in this last half of this episode, But let me just add something this is going to be setting up for a future podcast episode and it’s. With addiction. You have to remember comes shame and guilt, which in turn has the potential of sabotage successful recovery from addiction and the cure for guilt of course is forgiveness and like I said, and I will devote a two part episode on forgiveness and how important it is. In fact, I’ll even be bringing on a guest here in the near future who had gone through some addictions and had to make amends by asking for forgiveness. I went through this personally myself with my father and the way you treated me. I mentioned this in my very first episode of the 99 relapses podcast when I bared my personal testimony. And like I said, I’ll get into this further in future podcasts episodes, but keep in mind for now that forgiveness is a gift from God and consciously or subconsciously. Guilt deserves punishment and often times will sabotage success in addiction and recovery, for example. Have you ever noticed that when you start to become successful in your recovery, you may not be able to receive it and embrace it because you believe you don’t deserve it. Sometimes it’s hard to forgive ourselves, let alone others. So ask yourself this question. Do you have a history of self-sabotaging, just when everything seems to go well with your recovery? On the flip side of that as well. A lot of people will sabotage and I’ll talk about this as well in future podcast episodes, but when you go through an addiction and you let’s say you have been sober for a number of months, weeks, years or whatever you get some time to get to a point where you you feel like you owe it to yourself to have a drink or smoke some marijuana or whatever it is, whatever your addiction is and then you relapse, you get right back into the mode of being addicted. This happens. And like I said, I’ll talk about this further. But for now, let me get into how God identifies as opposed to how the world identifies. Remember one thing. Number one is you are loved. You were created with a purpose and a plan for God by God. And you’re not a carbon copy of someone else you were created uniquely and God created you uniquely. The second thing is your chosen God sent his only son jesus Christ to this earth to die in your place for your sin so that you could be included in his family and God was not obligated to choose you based on performance, credentials, education or socioeconomic status as I had mentioned at the beginning, the way the world identifies you. Number three, you’re forgiven or redeemed when you’re saved as a Christian through the blood of Jesus Christ and when you go to the cross and you confess your sins in humility, you’re forgiven; now does that mean you asked for forgiveness just once? Of course not. We are to be dependent on God and always ask for forgiveness each time we sin and we’re to allow that holy spirit that’s Jesus Christ living within us to guide our lives in every decision that we make in life and finally, number four, you’re adopted, you’re a child of God you have been adopted into his family. You’re considered a legitimate child of the God of the universe and as a Christian, a child of God, we can access Him all the time without having to go to any earthly person, a priest here on earth. In fact. We’re not even to refer to anyone here on earth as father who represents the Christian faith and that’s found in Matthew 23:9, which reads And don’t address anyone here on earth as father for only God and heaven is your father. And what I’d like to do in closing out this episode is just go over Bible verses as how God identifies you as a person as a child of God. Ephesians 2:10 for, we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus. So we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. In 1 John 3:1 it reads. see how very much our father loves us, for He calls us his children and that is what we are. But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Zephaniah 3:17 reads for the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. We will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. And in 1 Peter 2:9 it reads. But you are a chosen generation, a Royal priesthood, a holy nation. His own special people that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light. These are just a few. Bible verses as to how God identifies you not people. Always remember that you’re identified by God as a child of God, and God loves you. An important takeaway in concluding this episode of the 99 relapses podcast is that when you turn away from the world and how the world identifies you through other people, places and material things you experience, the true freedom in Jesus Christ as found in 2 Corinthians 3:17, which reads for the Lord is the spirit and wherever the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom and also in Galatians 5:1 reads. So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure. That you stay free and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law and like I said, if you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, now is the time to do it. Thank you so much for joining me in this episode of the 99 relapses podcast. Please join me in episode number 19, part 2 as I continue this two part series, identity and addiction and I will discuss how it creates a problem of control as well as what you live for. I would like to close this episode out with a prayer Heavenly father, we just give you so much thanks and praise Lord. We lift you up to the highest throne that you are an almighty God, you’re an omnipotent. God omnipresent, God, you’re a powerful God and a loving God. And a God who brought your only begotten son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and savior our Messiah, our king of Kings, our Lord, the Lord, our prince, of Peace who you brought here in an earthly body, in a physical body to be sacrificed at the cross. And we’re so grateful for that. As I continue to pray, Lord, we just know that we’re not identified in this world based on our status in this world, on our socioeconomic status how were identified by people, places, things, but were identified by you. God, a loving God who continues to love us. And we’re so grateful for that Lord that we come to you and lean into, that you are a God who, who identifies us as a child of God. And Lord, as I continue to pray, I just ask that you place a hedge of protection around everyone and anyone that’s listening to this podcast, that’s struggling with an addiction and that you get them through it, that you place that protection around them. And get them through their addiction. And I just thank you so much in your son’s name. Jesus Christ Amen. Again, thank you for listening to this episode of the 99 relapses podcast for current podcast episodes, episode show notes, episode recovery memory, versus as well as episode recovery lessons and tools go to 99 relapses.org. That’s the number 99 relapses.org. Also. If you would like to make a prayer request for yourself, family or friend, please do not hesitate to send me an email. for your prayer requests at 99Relapses.org and don’t forget to like me on Facebook. If you have an interesting story to share about how God has changed your life through addiction and recovery. Are an expert in the field of Christian addiction and recovery, have published a Christian book podcast, website, and would like to be featured as a guest on the 99 relapses podcast pleaseemail me anytime at James@99Relapses.org. That’s James@99relapses.org. And Iwill respond within 24 to 48 hours thank you and God Bless.