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Daily Encounter: A Week-day Devotional by Richard (Dick) Innes of ACTS International.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Overcoming Alcoholism

"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."1

June (name changed), A Daily Encounter reader, writes, "My daughter has been suffering from mental illness (schizophrenia) since she was 20. She has been on medication for 7 years. Because of her illness I took to drinking so I could get to sleep at night. Now I'm addicted to alcohol and can't break the habit. I've been trying for two years to overcome but to no avail. Can you please help?"

Unfortunately this anguished mother is not alone. In a survey report from George Barna: "One out of every eight (12%) noted that they are 'dealing with an addiction' that personally haunts them."2

Following is what I suggested to June: Giving up any addiction is never easy and you need to realize that you can't overcome this kind of struggle in your own strength or by going it alone. We're not meant to do this. The Bible teaches us to "bear one another's burdens." This is why you need the support of understanding "fellow strugglers" such as those in an AA (Alcohol Anonymous) support group—as well as God's help.

Oftentimes, too, there is a deeper hidden cause behind addictions. So I suggest that you ask God if there is a deeper cause that he will reveal this to you. Also ask God to lead you to the help you need to resolve this cause as well as overcome your addiction.

I also urge you to join an AA twelve-step support group as this can be a vital part of your recovery. For Alcoholic Anonymous (and other addictive) Groups your pastor, doctor or the social services in your area should be able to tell you how to find and contact a local AA group. Or you can get information from the AA web site at http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org/. For additional counseling resources go to: http://www.actsweb.org/counseling_resources.php

Whatever you do, don't try to go it alone. We all need understanding and support at times like this. You have taken the first step by saying, "I have a problem—I need help." The second step (if you haven't already done this) is to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior* so you can be honest with God and pray for his help. The third step is to join an AA twelve-step support group. The Fourth step is to find and join a loving, understanding and accepting church that has support groups for struggling members. And, if necessary, the fifth step may be to seek the help of a qualified, well-trained professional counselor.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, whatever problem I have, please give me the courage to admit that I have this problem (name it) and that I need help. And please lead me to the help I need to overcome so my life will bring glory to Your name. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

*NOTE. To accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and be sure you are a real Christian go to: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9.

1. Galatians 6:2 (NKJV).
2. Barna Research Group, http://tinyurl.com/j3p5f.

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