99Relapses Podcast Episode #2 Part I Show Notes
Hi, I’m James Egidio and 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 two, part one, titled five pillars to success. Christian addiction and recovery. Otherwise known as space, which stands.
Stands for stabilization, professional help, accountability, courage and endurance. In this episode, I will discuss understanding addiction as a Christian and in episode number three. Part two, I will finish this two part series with the five pillars to successful recovery from addiction as a Christian.
Which of course is the main point to this podcast. But first I will discuss understanding addiction as a Christian. If you remember an episode number one, or if he had listened to episode number one, I had mentioned that when struggling. With an out of control addiction, you may find yourself relapsing multiple times.
in the quandary of the addiction you’ll have episodes of depression, anxiety, fear, and a lot of mixed emotions and in fact to may, even relapse 99 times. this may lead you disappointed and discourage but you got to know that this is not the end of the world. The strength and courage to get through your addiction comes from knowing that God has a purpose and plan for your addiction. He wants you to be sober and free from all chains of addiction from all addictions. That is. God has your back 24 hours a day Seven days a week
An inspiring verse from the Bible comes from Jeremiah 29:11-13, reads. For, I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, they are plans for good and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope and those days when you pray, I will listen, if you look for me wholeheartedly you will find me Another verse in the Bible that comes out of Jeremiah. Is Jeremiah 18:1-6 which is titled the Potter and the Clay, which reads the Lord, gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, go down to the Potter shop and I will speak to you there. So I did, as he told me and found the Potter working at his wheel, but the jar he was making did not turn out as he hoped. So he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over. Then the Lord gave me this message. Oh, Israel, can I not do to you as this Potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the Potter’s hand. So are you in my hand, in this verse the way it’s interpreted is that you are the clay. You’re that broken piece of pottery, and God is the Potter molding you into a new person, taking all those shattered pieces and making you whole again. All those addictions, brokenness, struggles that come along with addiction.
I’m sure that you can relate to the fact that when you have experienced out of control addiction or are currently going to an out of control addiction it is very difficult to understand what you’re going through. Both physically and mentally especially with drugs and alcohol
When you are in this state of mind, thoughts and feelings are out of control, emotions, run high. However, the only way to understand your addiction is through the grace, mercy and wisdom that our Lord and savior Jesus Christ can provide. Later on in the podcast I will discuss how wisdom through the word of God is important to successful recovery and sobriety
Most people who suffer with these addiction sooner or later, realize they cannot overcome this addiction with a pill, a psychologist self-help program or anything secular. It can only be done through the grace and mercy in having faith in God. And the years of coaching and counseling clients, both on the faith-based side and the secular side on the faith-based side, I have personally witnessed an 80% success rate for relapse prevention compared to 10% with secular programs.
Before I became a saved Christian, I can remember in 2009, working in a medical clinic managing and coaching clients in the way of medication intervention, where the doctor would write the prescription, I would do the coaching and counseling for the client and the patients would take secular approach to recovery, and it just became a revolving door for them. it was really discouraging and sad to watch multiple relapses.
The reason why, secular programs are dependent upon self-help and willpower, which do not work and only temporary fixes. The reliance upon self-help willpower, pet therapy, psychologist, psychiatrist, motivational speakers and prosperity preachers, become objects of idolatry and they take away what was truly supposed to be focused on, which is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the only way to sobriety Jesus is the way the truth and the life, which is exactly what it says in scripture. You as a Christian who struggles with addiction and relapse have to realize that you have the holy spirit indwelt within you. Christ lives within you and your transgressions and your sins are washed away with the blood of Jesus Christ at the cross of Calvary. In a future podcast I will discuss how addiction is sin and is something that has to be taken to the cross by asking for repentance and forgiveness
Deuteronomy 31:6 reads, so be courageous, do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the lord your god will personally go ahead of you and he will neither fail you nor abandon you
The verse. In Deuteronomy chapter 31, verse six is a very good verse for hope and courage as you go through your addiction and recovery and do your reading in the Bible. Early on the podcast. I mentioned the word wisdom, the keyword wisdom and the Bible mentions the word wisdom 367 times. The word wisdom is a very powerful word, in fact Webster’s dictionary defines wisdom as the quality of having the experience, knowledge and good judgment. The quality of being wise. However wisdom can only be defined by God through his word in the Bible. And wisdom, of course, as you’ll find out is an important element to have in your arsenal during your battle with addiction.
The book of James 1:5-6 . If you need wisdom, ask our generous God and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking, but when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone.
The book of Proverbs is the book of wisdom. In Proverbs 2:1- 15 reads. My child, listen to what I say and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom and concentrate on understanding, cry out for insight and ask for understanding, search for them as you would for silver, seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord and you will gain knowledge of God for the Lord grants wisdom from his mouth, come knowledge and understanding, he grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. He guards the past of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.
Then you will understand what is right just and fair, and you will find the right way to go. For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will fill you with joy. Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe. Wisdom will save you from evil people from those whose words are twisted. These men turned from the right way to walk down dark paths. They take pleasures in doing wrong and to enjoy the twisted ways of evil. Their actions are crooked and their ways are wrong
another verse from Proverbs 3:13-26 reads joyful as the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. For wisdom is more profitable than silver and her wages are better than gold. Wisdom is more precious than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with her. She offers you long life in her right hand and riches and honor in her left. She will guide you down delightful paths all her ways are satisfying. Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her. Happier those who hold her tightly. By wisdom the Lord founded the earth by understanding the created the heavens. By his knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth and the dew settles beneath the night sky. My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment hang on to them, for, they will refresh your soul, they are like jewels on a necklace. They keep you safe on your way and your feet will not stumble. You can go to bed without fear you will lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked. For the Lord is your security he will keep your foot from being caught in a trap
I will be right back after the short commercial break.
Hi, welcome back to the 99Relapses podcast. In this segment of the podcast, I will discuss understanding addiction as a Christian, as it applies to the physical, the mental, emotional, spiritual, and social aspects of addiction. To understand addiction. Is to realize that it robs you physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and socially.
And before I go any further, I just want to say that I believe addiction is a spiritual warfare and it’s sin, and the only way to overcome addiction is through God. John 10:10 reads. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. in Episodes, number 10 and 11 of the 99Relapses podcast I will address satan’s role in addiction and then elaborate a little bit further on satan’s worldly strategies for sin and relapse. But for now. I’d like to address each of the five points in a little bit more detail by starting with the physical and these are obvious things to a lot of people who are not struggling with addiction or are deep into addiction, but there are things that I feel are very important to put out there and address and number one is physical. It’s estimated that about 90% of the diseases are stress-related and disrupt bodily functions. When you’re going through an addiction, whether it’s drugs, alcohol, pornography, these all have a direct effect on your physical well being and like I said, it’s hard for a lot of people to wrap their head around this concept, but for instance, People who use, let’s say cocaine or methamphetamine are doing a lot of damage to their heart, and to their cardiovascular system as well as with neurotransmitter chemicals in their brain because these things are all linked to your mental health, but some of the more obvious things are like smoking cigarettes, nicotine being a drug. Lung cancer, the risk of lung cancer. People who shoot up methamphetamine, cocaine or heroin, are risking HIV, AIDS and hepatitis as well as Liver problems with cirrhosis of the liver.
One of the Verses that comes to mind. comes from 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Which reads. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the holy spirit who lives in you and was given to you by God, you did not belong to yourself for God bought you with a price. So you must honor God with your body. Our body is the temple and we’re indwelt with the holy spirit, which I’ll talk about in a little bit and when you take an, a drug or you do damage to yourself, With, let’s say, looking at pornography and there was a correlation with looking at pornography and neurotransmitter chemicals and image imprints in your mind The damage you’re doing is not only you’re damaging yourself, but you’re defiling the holy spirit that’s indwelt in you. So this is something that has to be taken into consideration. Number two. Mentally addictions destroy you mentally, and depending on the drug can alter your personality and brain permanently causing depression, bipolar disorder, paranoia, psychosis, schizophrenia, as well as exasperate things like anger, denial, and cognitive function. So these things are all interrelated. Again, depending on the drug of choice, do you use cocaine and methamphetamine? And I always keep going back to that because that’s something that I had struggled with when I was going through my addiction and I can remember the paranoia the mood swings, anger and the denial, cognitive functions were off whack. So these were all things that were all interrelated mentally. and one of the verses that comes to mind for mental health from Romans 12:2, and it reads don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Ephesians 4:23 reads. Instead, let the spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. So again, These things seem very obvious. But they’re important to keep in mind because when you go through a time in your recovery, where you’re in sobriety, living a life of sobriety in the word this is where God’s word is so important where it supports you and gives you that foundation. Number three, Emotionally, addictions damage you emotionally, we deal with emotions every second of the day. In fact, humans Identify with as many as 27 emotions. If we anesthetize these emotions with drugs alcohol , pornography, gambling or eating we wont even respond in a healthy way to cope with life. People who gamble, don’t gamble to win, they just gamble for the rush and the feeling that they get when they gamble, it has nothing to do with winning or, winning money when you gamble. Eating is something that we use to suppress other issues with same thing with alcohol and drugs. I’ll give you an example, not dealing with your fear of rejection, you’ll be tempted to use alcohol to anesthetize those fears when going into a social situation, this happens a lot with business people who are public speakers, they get onstage and before they get on stage, they have to drink alcohol or do drugs to mask their true personality. Same thing with entertainers in the entertainment industry, singers, actors use drugs and alcohol to suppress their emotions and mental state.
One of the most important aspects of understanding addictions as a Christian is number four, your spiritual well being, spiritually, addictive behaviors, damages spiritually. As I mentioned earlier, the main way God speaks to us is through the holy spirit which is indwelt in us. Christ lives within us and he makes up the trinity the trinity completes us as a christian . Without the triune and we’re not complete as Christians. Addiction separates us from the spirit within us you’re defiling when you take in drugs, alcohol, or you look at pornography your defiling, the holy spirit that lives within you, Christ lives within us. When you do these things, this is to me by far, one of the most important things to understand as a Christian.
In Matthew 12:31 Jesus says, so I tell you every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven except blasphemy against the holy spirit which will never be forgiven. Anyone who speaks against the son of man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the holy spirit will never be forgiven. Either in this world or in the world to come. So when you take in drugs or alcohol, you are looking at pornography you are defiling the holy spirit
John 14:16 reads, and I will ask the father and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever. The holy spirit is there for you and with you.
John 14:26 reads, but the advocate. The holy spirit whom the father will send in, my name will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
So when you use drugs, alcohol engage in other addictive behaviors you numb your conscience from telling you what is wrong. Continual sin of any kind weighs on the holy spirit that indwells within you thus blocking out God’s voice So when you continue to block out God’s voice, the holy spirit that is you continue in your addiction, it just gets you off the hook in your mind.
So without conscience and an internal impulse to self correct you tend to look into the secular world to guide your life, this separates you from God. I’ll talk about that in episodes four and five, where it’s titled desire and how it relates to addiction. I will deep dive into how we’re born to love and desire God, and what he has for us. He’s got some beautiful things in store for us if we just comply with Him and understand that’s more powerful than any drug. I can remember when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior the only way I could describe it as more powerful than any drug that I’d ever done it was just amazing. Number five socially, there are two types of hurtful relationships that drive addictive behaviors, and these are destructive relationships or no relationships at all. Most clients that I’ve encountered, who are challenged with addictive behaviors have had unhealthy relationships, and even more than one addiction. Personally affecting me as well, I had an unhealthy relationship with my father for a long time and I had more than one addiction I was drinking, doing drugs looking at pornography at the time. I mentioned this about my relationship with my father in episode one, it took realization I had to forgive my father and expect him to apologize to me but that never was going to happen. I had to take the initiative to do that, and I had to put away the pride and ego. So healthy relationships are key to overcoming addictions and are essential to the recovery process.
The foundation of successful recovery is a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You are unique! The Bible says this in Genesis 1:27, which says, so God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God, he created them male and female. He created them. God created you for intimacy both with himself and with each other and the greatest commandment comes from Matthew 22:36-40, which reads you must love the Lord, your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind. This is the first commandment. A second is equally important. Love your neighbor as yourself the entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 reads. Two people are better off than one for they can help each other succeed, if one person falls, the other can reach out and help.
You cannot successfully go through recovery and sobriety alone. First and foremost, you must have a strong faith in Jesus Christ. And second, you need strong support from family and friends. And the people around you who are in faith through support groups and churches .
I like to close out this podcast with a prayer heavenly father we just give you so much thanks and praise Lord. We just thank you so much you’re such an awesome God you’re a loving God you’re an omnipotent God omnipresent, God, you’re a powerful God you’re a God who continues to show us love and give us strength and courage and Lord, as I continue to pray, we just thank you so much for your son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and savior, who you brought here in a physical body to be sacrificed at the cross to be sacrificed at the cross for our sins, but to show life in his resurrection and we’re so grateful for that Lord as I continue to pray, Lord, we just thank you so much and I thank you so much for this podcast the ability to be able to get the word out through Jesus Christ and we’re just so grateful for that. I am so grateful for that Lord. Lord as I pray. I just ask that you lift up anybody and everybody that’s listening to this podcast that you place a hedge of protection around them for their struggles with addiction that you give them the strength and courage in that that they get into the word and show the power and strength that your son, Jesus Christ has to get them through addiction, and Lord we just ask that you provide them with a hedge of protection for physical health, mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health as well. And we’re just so grateful and thankful and your son’s name Jesus Christ amen Thank you for listening to this episode of the 99Relapses podcast. For podcast episodes, show notes, memory verses as well as recovery exercises and tools go to 99Relapses.org that’s 99Relapses.org, also, if you would like prayer requests for yourself, family or friends please do not hesitate to send me your prayer request, and finally, if you have an interesting story to share about how God changed your life through addiction and recovery or are an expert in the field of Christian addiction and recovery, have published a book, have a Christian addiction recovery podcast or website and you’d like to promote it on the 99Relapses podcast, please email me anytime by going to 99Relapses.org and go to the contact page to message me. I will respond within 24 to 48 hours thank you and God Bless!!