Addiction Counseling along with Salvation

As a Christian addict, it is easy to entertain thoughts of turning away outside counseling. After all, you are a new person in Christ. You are taught that He has wiped away your sins, and there is no need to dwell on the past any longer. Through His grace and redemption you are clean, so why should you use a counselor? The reality is, you may be a Christian, but you are still a human who is dealing with a tremendous amount of stress. Counseling may just be the final support you need to pull you over the edge to a life of sobriety and healthy living.

The Bible and Counseling

For many, the idea of visiting regularly with a counselor when they are new Christians can seem counterproductive. You know that God wants you to lean on Him for your understanding. You also know that He is the ultimate healer, the only one who can work pure cleansing throughout your soul. But, God does not discount counseling. In fact, God provides words of comfort and support for those receiving counseling. Proverbs 12:18 reminds us "There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Later in Proverbs 20:5 we are also instructed that, "The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out." God’s hope is that our spiritual understanding will come from Him, but it may come to us through others. He knows we are human and knows we will thrive with human connections. Working with a counselor may help with that.

Additionally, as addicts, many of us are also dealing with co-occurring issues, also referred to as co-dependences. It is difficult enough to battle an addition but when you are waging another battle on top of that, you need as much support as you can have.

Of course, if you are going to visit with a counselor on a regular basis, it may be best to find a Christian Addiction Counselor. They will still be fully qualified to work through all addiction and possibly co-occurring disorders; however, they will also be able to focus on the spiritual side as well. For most Christian Counselors, their profession is also an opportunity to serve as a disciple to other Christians. By focusing on the spiritual aspects as well as the physical and mental ones, you will receive the all around support you need to stay clean and sober.

Man’s Sinful Nature

Even when man is at his healthiest, battling not a single addiction or vice, he will still battle sin. He may be saved, he may know his future lies with Christ, but that does not mean Satan wants him to stay that way. From the moment sin was introduced into the world through Adam and Eve’s original sin, the sinful nature of man has existed. Your recent past has been caught in an addiction cycle. When you return to your life, that sinful nature will continue to surround you. Working with a counselor will help give you the tools you need to stay transformed. They will also be a guide as you, "walk in the spirit that you might not fulfill the desires of the flesh," (Galatians 5:16).

Abstinence is not Enough

You have made the difficult choice to get clean and stay clean. It is not easy and it will require a daily renewal to abstain from the use of any addictive substance. But simply making the choice to abstain from drugs is not true recovery. It is called addiction for a reason. Even relying on God will only get you so far. God wants you to live a clean and healthy life and He pledges to stay beside you as you go through life; but, He cannot get clean and stay clean for you. That part falls on you. Addiction counseling, whether individually or in a group setting, offers you the right type of help so you can stay out of the addictive cycle you have been caught in. It provides the means to support your choice to abstain and stay clean.

God did not design humans to live in a vacuum. Yes, He certainly wants us to rely on Him. However, He recognizes the importance and health in leaning on each other. He simply wants to be included in the process. Jesus said, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them," (Matthew 18:20). When we seek counseling that includes God as a focal point, we are honoring God and His word.