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To understand the origins and nature of the Twelve Step program and how it can be adapted by the Christian faith.
To examine a passage from Ephesians that describes well the goal of the Twelve Steps.
We are a nation of addicts and we are just waking up to the fact. Consider the following statistics:
There are 10 million alcoholics and 50 million nicotine addicts. Together these two drugs kill some 450,000 people a year.
There are 40 to 80 million compulsive overeaters in the United States. The weight-loss industry is a $20 billion a year business.
There are 12 million compulsive gamblers.
There are some 11 million workaholics
Untold millions of addicted users of credit cards.
Uncounted numbers of people are addicted to television, to exercise, to shopping, and to sports.
Addictions. They come in many shapes and forms. Some have at their heart a substance that enslaves us. Others focus on a behavior over which we seem powerless. All are characterized by compulsion. Addicts cant stop thinking about it or doing it despite the fact that it is hurting them. Oh, they may not indulge every day; they may go through periods of control. But in the end they come back to it:
Her boss yells at her and she goes home, where she eats a gallon of ice cream and a box of Oreo cookies – thus her latest diet comes to a crashing end.
He just happens to run into the “boys” and before he knows it he’s using the drug again.
It’s okay as long as he is not depressed, but when he is, he starts to prowl. Prostitutes are easy to find.
She stopped drinking, but she has become obsessed about her weight. She starves herself; she exercises endlessly.
Addictions get inside us and turn us into people we don’t want to be. At their heart, addictions are any self-defeating behavior which we cannot stop despite their negative effect on us. And the problem with addictions is that we deny we have them.