Addicted

Addictions start out as fun, cool, or the in thing. One sip won’t do any harm. One puff won’t damage anything. And what’s wrong with watching a 60 sec clip? Let me do it just one time to feel good and be accepted by friends.

This is how they all start and it feels normal – initially. Then it becomes abnormal. And eventually it ends up being a hopeless slavery. Hardly a day goes by without hearing of someone whose life was destroyed by an addiction.

Historically addictions have been associated with alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. However, according to wikipedia, an addiction is now viewed as a continued involvement with a substance or activity despite the negative consequences associated with it. Pleasure and enjoyment would have originally been sought; however, over a period of time involvement with the substance or activity is needed to feel normal. It continues to say that some psychology professionals say addictions include; gambling, food, sex, pornography, computers, internet, work, exercise, idolizing, watching TV, self-injury and shopping.

Some feelings that people who are struggling with addiction go through include: loneliness, frustration, guilt/shame. Insecurity, anger toward God/others, extreme depression and isolation.

Some challenges they face include: loss of relationships, financial loss, suicidal thoughts, & tendencies, inability to connect/interact freely.

I suggest that we turn to God’s Word for direction.

Mark 5:25-34 (Woman with the issue of blood)
This story is not of someone with an addiction. But the issue that this lady struggled with had the same effects as an addiction. From this story I see 2 things that addiction does to someone:

1. It Interrupts – vs30-32
What do you think went through Jairus’ mind when the woman touched Jesus, making him stop? Remember, Jesus was on an urgent call! Jairus may have thought, “…You woman, do you know who I am? How dare you delay my miracle! If my daughter dies, you’ll pay with your life!”

When you are addicted, the cravings have a way of coming at the worst of times. Just when the family or community shift their attention on other things, the relapse happens. Just when you are about to take your sibling back to school – because you feel they’ve improved – the worst happens; they steal from you so that they can buy pint.

People cannot move on because they are not sure when your addiction will take them back. Many things get interrupted; school, work, growth and even procreation. Such things leave the family/community around them heartbroken, disappointed, and frustrated. Take note also that the individual is also heart-broken, they truly feel that they’re a ‘let down’. And the guilt that follows leaves them in anguish. Unfortunately, that guilt drives them deeper into the addiction.

Perhaps for you it’s not alcohol or other drugs. It’s a sexual addiction. The craving for pornography or masturbation usually comes during the period when you’re serving in church. The night before coming to lead worship, the urge comes powerfully and you succumb. So you’re left wondering whether to excuse yourself from the team leader? In other words lie that an emergency has come up. Or to just show up and fake it? People are singing ‘I give myself away…’ but deep down you feel guilty and condemned because you know it’s not true!

It Enslaves – vs25-26
And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.

The woman shared how she was held ransom by her illness for 12 years. It consumed her resources. And after all that things did not improve. An addiction is a tough slave driver. It can capture you, your family, and finances for a long time. Addictions are very frustrating! When the craving comes, it starts out promising fun and satisfaction. But after it’s been gratified, you are left feeling dirty, hollow, guilty, and sometimes broke. What hurts even more is the knowledge that soon you’ll be back there again. Like the woman’s illness addiction always leaves you in a worse state than it found you.

I thank God that this woman chose to take her situation to Jesus. It tells me that the addicted person can come to Jesus. Even if all else fails, you can come to Jesus and He will not disappoint!

And when you come to Jesus, He will do 2 things

He will see the best in you – vs 34
When the woman stopped the procession to Hon Jairus’ home, she could have been seen as a cheap, filthy, unnecessary distraction. Maybe she even considered herself inconsequential as compared to Jairus. But Jesus saw something else. He saw her faith. Where everybody saw the worst, He saw the best in her. I want to encourage you that God sees the best in them. Your family may see your darkness, your friends may be aware of your brokenness, but God sees your best! For those with friends or family members struggling with addictions, seek to gain God’s perspective. Never forget that even the addicted have something good in them.

He will heal you – vs 29
Immediately Jesus sensed that power had left Him, He stopped. I can imagine everyone else was wondering why the fun was stopping. Not Jesus! He not only stopped, but He listened to her story. That’s different! In a sense He was telling the woman that He was never too busy for her. That she was just as important as Hon Jairus was.
Jesus is not too preoccupied saving the world that He cannot attend to your need. He can and will heal you if you reach out to Him. God desires to set you free from the slavery of addiction and he who the Son sets free is free indeed.

And what should a community do when someone struggling with an addiction shares? How do we demonstrate the Mavuno C.A.R.E.S

Community – Community is key. You can never walk this walk alone. It is interesting that all programs that are effective will always advocate for a community around you.

Active Listening – We need to create a safe place for our friends to speak honestly. Active listening means that you empathize.

Reason together – When they are ready and when they invite you, then you need to brain storm with an open mind about how your relative or friend can move on in life.

Engage in a course of action – Take one or two of your ideas that will build the person and walk with them as they move on. Life must move on.
Submit to God – In a gentle way point the person to God’s sovereignty over their circumstances. Do not try to explain away their circumstances. Remind them about God’s ability and willingness to enter into your situation.

Submit to God – In a gentle way point the person to God’s sovereignty over their circumstances. Do not try to explain away their circumstances. Remind them about God’s ability and willingness to enter into your situation.

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14 Responses to “Addicted”

  1. Mad Woman Says:

    this sermon!!! I can only say God bless you

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  2. Hallos,am delighted to be a mavunite where people are real.This season(when life happens)has touched me and be blessed Pastor Kyama,coz through you God has really spoken to me.l lost my job in the last week of september,my parents divorsed when l was very young,l have been raised by my mom and my loving hubby is alcoholic.Now,you understand me when l say God has used you to speak to me,encourage me and help me apply CARE to all this situations.Am blessed to be a Judah and a loved child of God coz l believe and l know he has his hand on me and he conquered the grave for me.Thanks Pastors as God continue to use you to talk to us.Be blessed.

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  3. evelyne karanu Says:

    i was so touched by yesterday’s sermon mainly because i was going to see my brother in rehab after the service ended
    I thank you so much pastor kyama because before yesterdays sermon,i thought my brother was a curse to the family,a burden and maybe a punishment but after listening to you yesterday,i am now more convinced that God has his reasons for everything and i believe that my brother will stop using drugs and taking alcohol.
    I thank God that i made it yesterday,it changed me alot and through me,my brother is going to be ok
    Thankyou so much pastor kyama

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  4. Even if it means paying handsomely to listen to Mavuno sermons every Sunday morning, rest assured I will be there!!

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  5. The worst thing is that we all have addictions that we love to hide. Acknowledging that you have one would be the first step towards healing.

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  6. Pst Kyama this is hard for me missed this particular service but have a brother in law suffering an addiction has got a girl pregnant and the parents do not know. He wants a job and assures us he will not relapse but it happens. We tried having him start attending AA but it is still not working. Help

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  7. kila time i come to Mavuno, the sermon is always for me. Addiction…….. that sermon was just for meeeeeeee……………

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  8. Hi Pastor Kyama, you have spoken to me heaps this month and every time you go on stage I pray a blessing into your life and also pray that God may continue to use you to reach His people.
    A question I have though is when dealing with an alcoholic at what point can you say I’ve done enough. I have a brother in- law that I literally watched become an alcoholic when everyone in the family thought his drinking (courtesy of their alcoholic father) was ok until he went to the edge. Every year we have ‘operation help him’ in one way or another which mostly sets us back financially. He has even been taken for rehab and after a short while relapses is helped and the cycle continues. He is now a burden to me especially because of his over reliance on my husband who is trying to establish a business after a job loss. His main ammunition for invoking help is ‘am you brother and think about my kids’. At this point my heart is heavy and am tired of this cycle especially because it now hinges on threatening my kids future. Never mind his angle for requesting for help is ‘think about my child’. I guess I struggle with are his kids future more important than mine? At what point can we literally say ‘you reap what you saw and wash our hands so to say’. Recently my hubby discovered he was even stealing from his young business.
    Separately the blog is a bit unfriendly and not like it used to be-please have someone do something.

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    • BRAS,

      I hear you loud and clear. We too have a brother who keeps relapsing after rehab never mind the cost and regular visits to far away places like Asumbi. Suffice it too say there is no experience as demanding,exasperating or frustrating as this. The problem with family is that one cannot discard them the way one can with an acquaitance. It would be akin to running away from one’s shadow.All we can do is love them and continue to give them huge doses of love, in the hope and with the faith that God will touch them and they will change. As they say, ” the mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly small.” Be blessed and remain strong in faith,hope and love.

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  9. All for His Luv Says:

    Hi Pastor Kyama,

    I’m thankful to God for the Word that He brought through you. May He continue to bless and enlighten you. I’ve in the past had a tobacco addiction and dependancy on alcohol. I say dependancy as opposed to addiction because I was not addicted per se but would turn to more than “a bit of wine for the stomach” when dealing with issues:-) I also realised at some stage that socializing =alcohol consumption – and that for me, like many of my peers seemed totally normal. Spending money on any non alcoholic drink when we were out was generally perceived as a waste of money by most of the people I socialized with. (PS. God seriously & lovingly intervened & I’ve been off cigarettes for years and happily pay good money for a nice non alcoholic beverage when I’m out of the house:-)

    The thing that was brought to mind as you spoke was the denial element of addiction. Particularly substance addiction. Many addicts don’t recognise that they are actually addicted to something and there’s always a false sense of control with “I just enjoy it, I can stop whenever I want…….I just don’t feel like stopping.” Guess what Einstein, the reason you don’t feel like stopping is more often than not linked to dependancy or addiction. Oh and fyi, dependancy is the baby brother of addiction so don’t any dependants be sitting there thinking oh well, at least I’m not an addict. Same road, just that you “shukisha” earlier than the addict and perhaps don’t take that route so often. But once you have a mega rider for that route, it’s highly likely you’ll one day say “shukisha mwisho.”

    So as one who lived in denial for many a year, I’d ask others to test themselves today and ask:

    1. Today, without any notice or preparation, can I put aside (alcohol, cigarettes or insert other substance of choice) for a year?

    If you’re answer is any of the following:
    A. Eish, whyyyyy?!
    B. I can if I choose to but I don’t want to at the moment. It’s just how I like to chill & hang, no biggie
    C. Do you know Nairobi or do you know Nairobi?!
    C. Straight up, there’s no way! And I feel nothing

    Then in the words of the (relatively) good people in the movie Sister Act, “you better wake up and paaaaay attention.”

    Be real with God. If you enjoy the substance/habit tell Him that. Truth is God, I really do feel this story and left to my own devices, I would happily continue for as long as possible. But I know You don’t feel this, and that’s why I’m coming to You with is. Deal with my desire & love for this thing because that’s the root of my problem.

    Be the same real whether you do it out of peer pressure, low self esteem, rebellion or you just really don’t see the problem with what you’re doing – whatever’s the cause. Because as long as you don’t deal with the root cause, the addiction/dependancy, which is a symptom of that root – will continue to bear fruit and you’ll be fighting a losing battle trying to stomp the fruit while the root remains.

    Blessings fearless ones! So looking forward to a gazillion testimonies of what God did through this series!

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  10. i am a victim of addiction just like pastor amani’s mavuno story

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  11. i was addicted to alcohol for 4yrs or so that saw me lose two jobs and left me with zero at the bank!!i was in so much denial and before i knew it i had the victim mentality deep inside i blamed those around me for my failures and even convinced myself that they hated me and simply did not understand what i was going through.I attempted suicide while in my bedroom twice but as God had a better plan it failed.

    As reality soon started sinking in my head i began to vigorously start looking for a job and was prepared to do any kind of job inorder to get out of my situation….month after month i send my cv and before i knew it…..6mnths,7mnths…..my parents&sisters had to provide me with busfare to go town for job hunting…..things got so bad for me that i could hardly afford to buy myself personal effects….after attending mavuno church in feb 7th i got saved……..and as i began to have a relationship with God i finally realised and understood that i was not a victim and that i had to rid myself of alcoholism and my victim mentality….i also began to appreciate my family more and realised that they loved me and were ready to support me through this trying time!!!

    On October 2010…..God answered my prayers and i got a job…..its been 2yrs free from alcohol!!!!although i struggle with certain issues such as having to start all over again and sometimes feeling that i have been left behind by most of my peers….am really grateful”””’that i may not be where i need to be but am certainly not where i used to be!”…am also extremely grateful to my loving sister who also introduced me to mavuno…….i know that there are many out there with a similar story or way deeper than mine…..as i write this i hope to encourage someone out there that may be struggling with an addiction and is denial…that our God is a God of second and many chances……..i had to start all over again but it was worth it…….and i continue to heal…u too can receive healing! Thank you pastor Kyama for this sermon and may God bless you so much!

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