God of the Valley

Addiction and the Steadfastness of God

December 2, 2020 / Joshua Sercey

Concluding our miniseries on mental health, Josh looks at addiction.

There’s a lot of debate around what addiction is. Many say it’s only sin, and many say it’s only disease. Yet, when we only have room for one of these categories, we are left with a truncated conversation that doesn’t deal truly with the experience of addiction. Instead, this week we look at how addiction deforms us and traps us, and then how the feedback loop of a steadfast God can slowly loosen the grip of addiction. Addictions are rarely killed in a moment, but they can be starved over time by the experience of God’s steadfastness.


Key Ideas:

  • We must recognize the complexity between physical chemical imbalances and the realities of sin, and refuse unhelpful ‘either/or’ perspectives on addiction.
  • Addiction deforms us out of the image of God and into a slave because we lose our freedom and agency over the addiction.
  • Addiction creates a feedback loop of defeat and can also cause a narrative of self-hatred — “Why can’t I get out from under this?” We can end up turning our hate of the addiction in on ourselves.
  • There is a consistency in God in how he thinks about you and acts toward you — he is this no matter how addicted you are. There is a settled resolve in God to be towards you the God of love, mercy, and compassion he has always been.
  • The steadfastness of God creates a new feedback loop that undoes self-hatred, a message of love and grace that can undo the hooks of addiction.
As a reminder, this series does not minimize the importance and necessity of professional mental health support, but it does remind us as believers that the Lord cares for us and that the scriptures have something to offer us as we seek health and wholeness. Listen to why we’re talking about these issues in part 1, “Why Mental Health?