Addiction, Choice or Disease?

First I'd like to say that I am no expert on the subject of "addiction", nor have I read everything that is out there on the subject. But, as a Pastor I have come in contact with many who have addictions.

To start, my biological father was an alcoholic and died at the age of 37 from it. I have several family members who struggle with addictions. I have several friends who have gone through AA and found it to be very helpful. I also drank and did various drugs as a teenager, but found them to be vices rather than virtues, so I quit.

I realize there are many opinions out there on this subject, and there is no way we can all agree on every facet of addiction, but I do believe there are two things that we can agree on and that is that our CHOICES play a critical role in where our lives end up and that GOD is a key factor in recovery and being free. And whether you believe, like so many do, that addiction is a disease or, like me, believe that addiction is a choice, it's a real issue that many people, even family members, face and it's hurtful and sad and it's destroying lives.

I believe that we are responsible for our deliberate and conscious behavior. And when we say that people AREN'T responsible for their actions we error greatly. We live in a culture where we do not want to take responsibility for our destructive actions ... we want to blame anyone and everyone and anything other than ourselves.

Many people on facebook commented on my question on whether addiction is a choice or a disease? by saying that "it's a choice that turns into a disease" ... or "begins as a choice then becomes a disease" ... I think that addiction can lead to having a disease, which is much different than saying that addiction IS a disease. I agree with what one person said better, "It begins as a choice then becomes a habit.. it is not a disease. It is a habit..."

The bottom line for me is not to get you to see it how I do! Trust me! But to challenge you to make healthy choices for you, and those you love around you! And pray for those you know who are making unwise, unhealthy choices.

"but for the grace of God there go I"