The first few months attending recovery meetings, I would hear individuals say, I am grateful to be an alcoholic. I thought they were off their rocker. As I listened further, The person may say, I spend time in prison from the multiple DUI's and drug charges, my life was completely out of control. Some of my family members still won't even speak to me, I'm grateful to be where I am.... and I would think how stupid can these people be. They went through a ton of money in fines, lost good jobs, were regulars in the hopital's ER, and looked down on by everyone because they were "no-goods," and you're grateful for that? C'mon, what an dope!
I was good at passing judgment on statements I regarded as foolish. I was a foolish judge. In time, I began to understand their gratitude, and could echo their feelings in my experience. God had spared us. We didn't lose our life on the highway, or give up on living because of drinking or drugging. We were saved from ourselves. One man actually went to the police officer who gave him the gift of an OVI, and thanked him. You saved my life, man! What kind of an impression do think that made on the officer? He had a huge fine, had his Harley impounded, and received jail time yet, was grateful. It is that broken condition that draws a person to find help. In that state of existence, when we cry to God, He arrives that moment, and with healing for our broken lives.
Of course, my thinking is completely different for people in their trouble. I am grateful today that I do not see the person struggling with an addiction to gambling, or pornography, or being overweight, anyone with any addiction, the way I did before. The judge's robe I was wearing, I removed. I know we all fight addictions. If you read this, and have never known addiction to drugs, alcohol, or any of the above mentioned, thank God. Also, be wary. You may still be dressed in your judge's robe, and ready to comdemn others who have known, or are still fighting them. Look hard at yourself before you do. Gossip, lying, boasting, pride...all of these are addictions, or can be. Pointing fingers at others can bring self-invited troubles to yourself, and to your home. I have witnessed it first hand. Many have been judgmental toward others, and faced the same problems, and even worse, with their spouse or children.
"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgement on someone else, for whatever
point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment
do the same things." Rom.2:1 (NIV)
Some body may say, I'm hooked on porn, that's on my mind 24/7. I could be grateful like you say if I were a drunk, or a doper. People care to help them...but not someone with this problem. I'm too embarrassed to tell anyone. I really feel for people who try to hide their addiction, porn is everywhere on the internet, and thousands, maybe tens of thousands are hooked. Yet the shame of any addiction keeps too many people buried in secrecy, they are too ashamed to even ask God to help them. A person who has a shopping addiction is just as ashamed as the person hooked on porn. The workaholic isn't fond of considering hard work an addiction, I'm just trying to make a buck! Being hooked on making money, is either based on greed, or on fear. What happens if I go broke? In any case, all addictions bring the "baggage" of shame along with them, and it's nearly impossible to get free from any addictions alone.
Consider this, maybe finding one trusting person you can talk to, will help you open up, and get free. Start the hunt for this person by asking God to direct you to them. He wants you well, full of purpose, and living a fulfilled life. Acceptance of the problem, and acceptance that you can't get rid of the habit alone, are the beginning of a new understanding that will develop in your thinking, if you desire to be free. God has a plan for you. Addictions of any sort can nix your and my living that plan out, because of guilt, or fear that everyone will know. Ask God to put that trusting person you can share anything with in your life. Then get busy, times a wastin'.
Two things: be thankful for the trouble in your life that freed you from addictions. And do not stand in judgment towards others, and bring heartache and judgment on yourself. Pray for others caught in the mire of addictions, do not ignore their plight. If their problem is out in the open, or common knowledge, ask them if you can help in any way. Don't try to bale them out financially, or get hooked into fixing things for them, that is their consequences, not yours. But if they need prayer support, or friendship, be willing to help...you may be that trusting soul another needs to confide in. If you are recovering from any addictions, don't become bitter, and full of self-loathing. Be grateful, look at past troubles as stepping stones that led you God and freedom
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith