There is an accepted tradition among those who struggle with addictions that goes something like this: helping yourself will help others, and helping others will help yourself. If an alcoholic learns to “take his soul to task,” it will bless family, friends, co-workers, and probably many others. If that same alcoholic looks out for the needs of others, and goes out of his or her way to serve another drinker, then that person will most certainly be blessed in some way.
The reader will probably come to this book with a particular role in mind. For example, many might read with the idea of helping others. But as they dig into Scripture’s teaching on the reckless nature of the human heart and its rich teaching on self-control, it prompts one to acknowledge their own need for help as well. So thinking about your own struggles is the best way to start. Welch’s book admonishes the reader to be sure to look for addictions in their own hearts and lives. Even though the focus of this book will be primarily on drugs and alcohol—prototypic addictions—the basic ideas are relevant to all kinds of sins that are not easily cast off.
What is the basic point of this book? Theology makes a difference. It is the infrastructure of our lives. Build it poorly and the building will eventually collapse in ruins. Build it well and you will be prepared for anything. The basic theology for addictions is that the root problem goes deeper than our genetic makeup. Addictions are ultimately a disorder of worship. Will we worship ourselves and our own desires or will we worship the true God?
Edward T. Welch, MDiv, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He earned a PhD in counseling (neuropsychology) from the University of Utah and has a Master of Divinity degree from Biblical Theological Seminary. Ed has been counseling for over thirty years and has written extensively on the topics of depression, fear, and addictions. His biblical counseling books include Shame Interrupted; When People Are Big and God Is Small; Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave; Depression: A Stubborn Darkness; Crossroads: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Addiction; Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest; and When I Am Afraid: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Fear and Anxiety; Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love; and A Small Book about a Big Problem: Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace.
- Edward T. Welch
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