Broken: Addiction

Speaker: Jeremy Flanagan


Addictive behaviors are more common than people think. They are much more broad than simple chemical addiction (drugs). Anything that we can’t give up which causes negative harm to our relationships, carrying out responsibilities, and other consequences can be considered an addiction.


Today's Focus - If we even have a question whether or not we are addicted to something in an unhealthy way, we will prayerfully talk to someone we trust in an open conversation to determine what changes might need to be made.



When we read Romans 7:21-24, Paul tells us that he wants to do what is right but there is a power within him making him a slave to sin. The result is that he is miserable when he gives in. That entire chapter gives us a perfect view of what addiction to any destructive or sinful behavior will do to us. But what about when you don't think your actions are wrong or the result of an addiction? Is your reply "But I’m NOT Miserable!  Other’s say I have a problem but I don’t see it that way."


Today we are talking about much more than simple chemical addiction. Here is a list of some of the most common addictions people face: Drugs, Alcohol, Pornography, Gambling, Eating, Shopping, TV, Social Media, Hobbies…  Some addictions can be made worse by physical problems, the way our brain is wired, or how our personality has been formed through life experiences.  The one thing that remains the same is that while the power of God can conquer anything, we have to be willing to let God work in us and we have to be willing to follow what He says we should do.


Below we are adding a list of resources to help you address any of the specific areas we discussed on Sunday. If you have questions or needs that aren't covered by these resources, please reach out to us and let us know how we can help connect you to the information or help you're seeking.




The Twelve Steps of Life Recovery  (from the Life Recovery Journey)
1.    We admitted we were powerless over our problems and that our lives had become unmanageable.
2.    We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3.    We made a decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God.
4.    We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5.    We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6.    We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7.    We humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
8.    We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
9.    We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10.    We continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
11.    We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry it out.
12.    Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

* The Twelve Steps used in the "Life Recovery Journey" have been adapted with permission from The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.





When researching addiction or any medical/behavioral condition, understand you will find conflicting information - even on the same website. In regards to the comments I made about certain behavioral addictions (such as pornography) changing the way our brain functions, you can find whatever research you want to support your opinion. Some researchers will say IT IS and addiction, others say IT ISN'T. When it comes to changing brain patterns, one website on psychology says that positive activities like yoga "change the firing patterns and chemical composition of your brain" in a positive way but the same website has another article saying when it comes to negative activities like excessive pornography use, "it's not addictive" and doesn't change brain patterns. Always research carefully and talk to people in the medical field you trust to help sort through the confusion. When you keep finding conflicting information, try to read actual studies, not just conclusions. Feel free to contact staff to agree, disagree, or ask for clarification with anything we say, post or share. Typically the links I will list are those I believe give accurate information but sometimes I will post an opposing view to let you hear both sides.



SAMHSA National Help Line 



24 Questions to determine if you have an addiction problem 

Simple test to help determine: alcohol problem, drug addiction, etc... 

Signs of drug addiction WebMD 

Mayo Clinic information on drug addiction 

Mayo Clinic information on alcohol use disorder

Extensive website dealing with alcoholism 

Understanding Drug Use and Addiction 

Article about JAMA Study citing alcoholism on the rise 


Medical studies on pornography addiction 

Is porn addiction a real thing? 

Pornography addiction statistics 

Pornography and virtual infidelity 

Website for men dealing with porn addiction 

XXXchurch site helping men & women 

Covenant Eyes accountability software 

Net Nanny filtering software 

American Family Online software 

Focus on the Family tech support for parents 

List of parent control software 



Overview on Gambling Addiction

Mayo Clinic info on compulsive gambling 

National Council on Problem Gambling 



Mayo Clinic info on eating disorders 

National Institute of Mental Health on eating disorders 

Eating disorder statistics 

Parenting Pod - eating disorders in children



Shopping Addiction 101 

Shopping Addiction overview 



Online Social Networking and Mental Health study 

Social Media Addiction 

6 Questions to evaluate social media use 

Social media article with links to multiple studies