USA (MNN) — You’ve heard the child’s analogy: you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole. This is a concept that all human beings face in their daily lives–whether they’re willing to recognize it or not.
Dr. David Schuringa, president of Crossroad Bible Institute, explains that each of us is born with a hole because we are sinners. This hole needs to be–and can only be–filled by God. When we look for other things to fill it, we are discontent and always searching. Often, finding momentary satisfaction in temporary things leads to addictions.
Schuringa recently released a book called Seven Secrets for Kicking the Habit: A Holistic Approach to Getting Your Addictions Under Control.
“There are so many books on addictions and self-help sorts of books. But what has struck me–and others have said as well, what they like about this book–is that it’s not a thousand pages with a thousand footnotes. It’s very, very accessible, and it’s very, very handy and easy to read. And it’s something that people of all literacy levels…can take advantage of,” Schuringa explains.
The book, which brings together many different materials, is appropriate for a whole range of people. Schuringa says, “It gets right down to practical ways in which people can begin to overcome their addictions. So I’m hoping that the simplicity of this book as well as the practicality of it will make it very accessible to a large amount of people.”
He says that an estimated 80% of people in prison have committed their crimes under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or their crime was related to those influences.
While prisons are meant to correct certain behavior, it is a poor place to treat addictions.
“Prison time doesn’t free people from that,” Schuringa says. “Most folks are not aware of the fact that the drugs and even alcohol are as readily available–if not more so–in many prisons as they are in the streets.
“They are struggling with this problem that they need to overcome or get a handle on. Otherwise, when they get out, they’re going to have the same results and be back in prison.”
Schuringa says even though this book was written for prisoners, it isn’t useful only to them.
He says, “It’s for anyone and anyone who’s wrestling with an addiction or perhaps wonders if they are addicted or they know someone who is.”
According to Schuringa, this targeted group could be rather large: “If 80% of prisoners struggle with some sort of addiction, I am confident that 80% of the general population outside of prison [is] wrestling with some kind of addiction as well.”
This is because addictions are so easy to fall into: “Addictions is simply something that in itself may have been okay and good, but it became a habit and it became a life-dominating sin affecting lives in a negative way.”
Schuringa continues to explain that over his 30 years of pastoring, he’s come to realize that addictions aren’t limited to the secular population.
He says, “I happen to know lots and lots of Christians also wrestle with addictions, be it in secret.”
Often these addictions take other forms than alcohol and drugs and are seemingly less harmful. They can range from a shopping problem to too many hours spent browsing the internet, watching TV, or playing video games.
While these activities are not wrong in themselves, they can capture more attention from an individual than what is healthy.
As Schuringa puts it, “What happens is: it becomes a life-dominating activity; you know it’s an addiction especially when it begins to affect other areas of your life.”
These areas include family life, relationships, jobs, and other responsibilities.
Schuringa says that when these other areas are affected, “Then that particular activity has become a false god.”
Therefore, in the Christian life, addictions aren’t just a condition to be let alone as if faith won’t be affected.
Schuringa says, “The Gospel comes into place right at the first commandment: ‘Thou shall have no other gods before Me.'”
Right now, CBI is working on a new prison course called No Other Gods.
“Every person who’s an addict feels guilty about it, and they have damaged relationships; they have wasted time. And so there needs to be a confession of sin and an acknowledgement that there is forgiveness at the cross for anyone.”
This discussion on addiction, Schuringa says, delves into what it means to be a child of God.
Again, this book was written for prisoners with addictions, but it can be used for small groups and individual help. For instance, one woman bought the book to know how to help her child fight a porn addiction.