Help for “Harmless” Addiction!

addictionIsn’t it true that addiction may look harmless?

Yet anything that enslaves you harms you. Thank God, He empowers you to overcome an addiction.

Hard work helps. Workaholism harms.

Eating good food — satisfying. Bingeing for comfort — sad.

Clothing your kids in cute outfits rocks. A shopping addiction hurts.

Karrie’s story

Driving her minivan to the mall, Karrie* told herself she’d buy only one outfit for her seven-year-old daughter. She had made this promise last week and broke it. “I can do it this time,” she pep-talked. Three hours and many shopping bags later, she collapsed on her couch and cried. “I can’t do anything right.” (*not her real name)

Her challenge? Overcoming an addiction by loving God most of all.

What’s an Addiction?

An addiction is a bondage of the heart and body to something that produces immediate pleasure or relief. This bondage becomes increasingly destructive over time. It rules the heart, promising the sensation of pleasure and the avoidance of pain.

Addictions have an object, such as:

  • Visual stimuli like pornography or television;
  • Ingested substance like food, alcohol, or pills;

Indulging in addiction brings short-term pleasure. But in the long term, the soul and body experience pain and decay. Relationships suffer. Bank accounts shrink. And the lie of “just one more” deceives.

Disconnected!

If you think Christians are immune to addiction, think again. When our craving conflicts with Scripture, we don’t always live according to what we say we believe. Karrie says “Jesus is Lord” at church on Sunday, and on Monday she itches to shop. Her husband says he loves his wife yet views pornography.

This disconnect is described in Scripture. In Romans 1, the apostle Paul says,

“We all know many things about God and his law, but we suppress those truths when they interfere with our wants and desires,” writes Ed Welch in Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave.

“As a result, it is as if we practice two religions. We believe one thing, but really believe another. . .(that) we can make the laws we live by, not God.”

When you or I reject Christ’s rule, we become enslaved to something. We exchange the wonderful for the unholy because we want self-rule. The created thing enslaves us. We become cold to God.

How to Get Free

Most important to overcoming an addiction: Invite a stronger power to rule. Consider Jesus’ question,

Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? Matthew 12:29

Here are two more important ways to overcoming addiction:

1. Pray to be mastered by nothing but the Lord and pursue knowing Christ.

2. Confess your sin and repent, or turn away from addiction. You cannot go half-way. You need to totally eradicate it.

Now What?

If you love Christ, then you have everything you need to overcome an addiction.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 1 Peter 1:3

Yet spiritual battles cannot be won alone. Addictions like to stay private. God invites people dealing with addictions of any sort to share their struggle with the church of Christ. The church is people who say Jesus is Savior and are growing in their love for God and one another.

Yes, the church is full of sinners. Yes, some churches have significant problems. But a Bible-believing group of believers will welcome the hurting and help them.

And some people struggling with addictions want the advantages of biblical counseling too.

If you’re interested in someone coming alongside you, listening to your story, and helping you find hope in Christ, please contact me or one of the vetted biblical counselors listed in Heart2Heart Counselor Directory.

 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. Matthew 18:20.

Blessings of hope for your heart,

Beautiful Truth of Who You Are

truthHere’s beautiful truth: You are who God says you are!

And God says you’re worth it and you’re lovely.

Pretty amazing, isn’t it? God cares about you and me and everyone. But isn’t it tough to believe that something so wonderful is true? That he protects you? That he cares?

In fact, you may have struggled with believing you matter and that God has a good plan for your life. Have you ever asked yourself questions like,

  • Do I make a difference in anyone’s life?
  • Does God smile when he thinks of me?
  • How can God love me?

The truth is, Jesus is with you. He loves you. He cares.

Two Encouraging Stories

Corrie Ten Boom: God’s Protection

Chances are, you’ve heard parts of Corrie Ten Boom’s WWII story. Her family hid Jews in a secret place in their home above their watch shop. When the Nazis discovered their secret in 1944, they arrested the Ten Boom family and sent them to a concentration camp.

Upon arrival at the camp, Corrie and her sister, Betsie, waited in line to be searched. And guess what Corried did? She prayed.

With a bible hidden in her clothing, she prayed that the Nazis would not find it. She prayed, “Dear God, you have given me this precious Book. You have kept it hidden through checkpoints and inspections.” The Nazis searched the woman in front of Corrie, and they searched Betsie.

But Corrie? They left her alone. The bible stayed with her in the camp, and God’s word kept hatred from her heart.

Like Corrie, you are secure because you are hidden in Christ.

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble. Psalm 32:7

Sandi: Small Acts of Kindness

Years ago I counseled “Sandi,” whose parents were addicts and abused her every which way imaginable. As the eldest, she would stand between her parents and her little brothers and sisters, sparing them and taking the punishment. And she was a child too!

The authorities caught up with Sandi’s parents, who were convicted of child abuse and distributing child pornography, and served time in prison. Sandi and her siblings ended up in foster care. Yet God blessed her and gave her a desire to be kind to others.

Among her stories I love is the time she noticed a homeless woman taking food from a dumpster behind a fast food joint, She offered her her own uneaten lunch. The woman declined at first. Then Sandi began regularly buying two lunches a few times a week–one for herself, one for the woman–and the woman ate hers.

Sandi’s small acts of kindness demonstrated the truth that God treasures all people–Sandi, you, me. And the homeless.

Like Sandi, you are significant because you are precious in God’s eyes.

You are precious and honored in my sight…because I love you. Isaiah 43:4

Scriptures About You

Read through this short list of the truth of who you are. May I encourage you to look up the bible verses too? They are hope for your heart.

I have a long list too. If you want the long list, please send me a message with the words “Who I Am in Christ” in the subject line and I’ll send it to you.

You are precious to God. (Isaiah 43:4)

You are a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

You are complete. (Colossians 2:9,10)

You are secure. (Romans 8:31-39)

You are God’s workmanship. (Ephesians 2:10)

You are God’s treasure. (1 Peter 2:9,10)

Father, thank you for reminding us who we are in Christ. Thank you that when you look at us you see true beauty that comes from your Son, our Savior. Amen.

Counseling Hope to Your Heart,

lucy-signature-blue

the 3-day smile challenge

Can something as simple as a smile make your happier? Strange but true: quite possibly YES!

When you are happy you smile. Did you know that smiling can bring on happy feelings? This is what a growing body of research is saying.

I still have doubts.

Forcing a smile isn’t a real smile; it’s a “say cheese” upturn of the lips, with eyes dull, cloudy. But. . .

the research.

Can something as simple as a FAKE{!} smile tickle your happiness.?

Listen to Michael Lewis.: “It would appear that the way we feel emotions isn’t just restricted to our brain—there are parts of our bodies that help and reinforce the feelings we’re having,” says Lewis, a co-author of a study conducted in 2009 at University of Cardiff in Wales. “It’s like a feedback loop.” (Here’s the article in Scientific American.)

Theories why a simple smile may gladden you abound and I don’t think they really know. . .except for God.

The bible also says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Psalm 17:22). Notice cheerfulness precedes healing. Hmm. So how do you or I or anyone become cheerful? A real smile? Sparkly eyes?

In three words: abundant joy overflowing! (Tons more on making this happen in your life in my forthcoming book: Refills!)

The healthy path to a joy-filled life is to recognize your deep need for Jesus and to grow in the knowledge of God’s love, and He loves you BIG Listen to your heart controlled by Christ and do the outrageous: smile.

Your Smile Challenge: For the next three days, smile on purpose a few times a day. You can pick natural points in your day: your drive to and from work or school, mealtime, AND whenever sadness or discouragement sneak up. BONUS: Memorize Psalm 17:22. Please report back and share the results of Your Smile Challenge.

With Joy Overflowing!

 

get mad. . .then save a girl!

Who inspires you? The woman who inspires me is stopping child trafficking. Just one small thing can help save a life of a child.

Have you met someone who inspired you to make a difference?

A life-or-death-oh-my-God-help-me-be-the-change kind of difference? I have. Her name is Diana Scimone, a Christian women and the heart of Born2Fly, a nonprofit dedicated to stopping child trafficking in the United States and around the world.

Child-trafficking. You’ve heard about it. It’s a crime forcing little kids to do things no child should. Like sew tiny beads to saris sold to tourists in the markets of Calcutta. All day every day. Even worse: child sex trafficking of girls and boys.

When Diana, a journalist, first discovered these crimes against children, she got mad — who wouldn’t! — and asked herself what she could do to stop it and save lives?

God gave her the answer: write!

SOLUTION 1

One part of the Born2Fly solution is a new, beautifully illustrated children’s ebook called Born to Fly. Born to Fly inspires children to pursue their dreams. Proceeds from book sales help fund a worldwide anti-trafficking prevention program.

“Each year more than 1 million kids get lured into trafficking including in the U.S.,” Diana says. “Some of them are just 5 years old. We’ve launched a program to reach kids before the traffickers do—and we’re hoping that sales of this new ebook will help fund it.”

Born to Fly features 43 illustrations in soft pastel by artist Leah Wiedemer. A companion website, www.borntoflybook.com, has games and activities for kids and a free reading guide/curriculum for schools. Born to Fly is published solely as an ebook and is available for iPad, Kindle, Nook, Sony, and other readers. Read more solutions at www.BasicsMatter.com, where I write on Mondays. Come on over and join the folks.

P.S. To get Diana’s beautifully illustrated children’s book in time for Christmas, click here.

Merry Christmas!

when you need a hand up

When you need a hand up, you want a little help. . .not a hand out.  

Yesterday on my REFILLS radio show, the peeps in the REFILLS chat room shared their hearts and words of encouragement on dealing with difficult people during Thanksgiving. In case you missed it, you can listen to the archive here.

Clearly they weren’t looking for a perfect solution or a magical solution to the infamous and weird “Uncle Ed” with the wooden eye ball. (You need to listen to the archive to get the joke. 🙂 )

And I doubt you are looking for the easy way either. As a believer, you desire God’s will above all.

You also need a hand up sometimes. We all do.

On my show I offered a free (yes, free) discount card on many health-related products including prescriptions to my listeners. I’d like to make it available to you too. As one Facebook friend put it,”I figure how can you go wrong with something that costs nothing and saves money, right?! Thanks, Lucy.”

It’s called the WellCard. You can read more about the WellCard here.

The WellCard is not insurance. It is a discount card accessing many thousands of health care providers, services, and products including doctors, dentists, labs, and prescriptions. It is useful to you whether you have great insurance, are under-insured, are on Medicare, or have no health insurance. (Psst.  . .I have the WellCard and save more than $100 on prescriptions so far this month.)

If you want the WellCard, please send me a message that you want it. When I get the access code from the WellCard folks to share with you — they’re setting it up now — I will email the access code to you, and you can start saving money.

Remember, it costs you nothing. Not even a cent. You can only save money.

If you are interested in receiving the WellCard, please send me a message through my website and say you want the WellCard. Whoever asks for the WellCard from me will receive it. When you send me a message, I can then give you a “Group #” that lets you sign up for it (again, free) and print out your WellCard. Once you print it out, you can use it immediately. It can be used for every member in your family.

You Are Blessed!

Get this 64 page ebook FREE when you sign up for my blog!

 

5 AMAZING NAMES GOD CALLS YOU!

Blessed, Daughter, Saint, and more!

In this delightful, four-color ebook, you’ll discover the precious names God calls you. Today so many Christian women don’t fully know their wonderful identity in Christ. Isn’t a time to know yours? Filled with scripture, photography, personal stories, and encouragement!

You have Successfully Subscribed!