Contributor: Ryan Moffat, BS in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. Pastor of Vast Church.
“Confess your sins to one another that you might be healed” – James 5:17
“Isolation is our response to sin, community is our response to reconciliation.” – Brad House
When we’re caught in self-destructive behavior our natural disposition is to hide. It started with Adam and Eve in Eden and it hasn’t stopped since. This is why most recovery programs are centered on “group therapy”.
The issue beneath the issue is where real change occurs. Most of us aren’t so much “alcoholics” or “addicts” or “gamblers” as much as we’re “isolationists” paralyzed by the idea of living in healthy community and being fully known by another human being.
If you (or someone you know) happens to be a person who finds a great thrill or rush in gambling consider the following benefits of entering in to a support group or community based rehabilitation program:
#1- Support Groups offer greater connection that leads to greater accountability – If the root issue for gambling (or any self-destructive addiction) than the answer is to fight against loneliness not just treat the symptoms. In support groups you will meet other people struggling through similar difficulties but you will learn from many of them how they have experienced victory and success in there addictive behavior.
#2- Support Groups humanize and honor people as whole – Persons while dealing with the complexities of addiction. Attending a support group allows you to gain a new community to interact with during the week (through phone, texts, email, etc.) that a professional therapist may not offer just due to the sheer volume of people that they work with individually.
#3- Support groups are often times much more affordable – At many churches/ministries, support groups are often free. This often takes all of the excuses (such as, “I can’t afford therapy”) and makes real transformational teaching and training, more accessible to everyone.
In a support group setting, you get many of the benefits of counseling without the higher costs.
If you think there is risk in “being fully known”, consider the alternative, in “being fully self-deceived”. In community with others there can be a freedom, joy and fuller life than you have ever imagined!
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
What has been your experience with support groups? How have they been a benefit to your recovery?
About the Author: Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing.
He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together. Ryan is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR
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Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on February 19, 2016
Published on AddictionHope.com