A couple of months ago, one of the speakers in church spoke about addiction.  She made the point that physical and mental addiction were related to each other, but that mental addiction was the stronger of the two.  While she did not go into much detail about this idea, I have thought about it fairly often since and I think she is more right than she knows.

With physical addiction, one’s body becomes a slave to some thing the body decides it wants or needs.  Drugs are an obvious first thought.  Drugs are tangible, real, and some of them only require one try for the body to develop a thirst or need for it.  People get addicted to all kinds of things, like drugs, exercise, caffeine, sex, alcohol, and so on.  As the need for the addiction rises, the spirit will get dragged down.  We lose focus of the things that are really important.  Our spirit loses the ability to feel the Holy Ghost.  Soon, we are left to ourselves and the addiction controls us and we are unable to get out of the rut, so to speak.  The addiction will affect our minds, often causing us to focus on the addiction.  Can’t wait for the next beer, or hit of speed.  Still, with help and hard work, physical addictions can be overcome and left behind, except for the memories.

While physical addiction snares the body, mental addiction gets the mind.  These kinds of addictions are more subtle, as they do not require consumption of a substance to feed the beast.  There is often not a detriment to the body in the short term.  However, the kinds of things in the mental addiction category are very often more damaging to the spirit, acting quickly, and having a much more devastating effect.  Take, for instance, pornography.  People become addicted to porn.  And, once you are hooked, it is difficult to be satisfied with just dirty pictures.  Soon, the most vile and perverted things will be attractive.

What’s scary about it is that the first encounter with the lightest of porn kills the spirit.  The farther one goes, the harder it is to regain the spirit.  Very soon, it is gone, and getting it back is a long and arduous process.  It can be done, but the images and scenes are there and almost impossible to forget. 

At the same time, this mental addiction to porn causes many people to want to do what they see.  It leads to infidelity, social disease, unwanted pregnancy, broken families and sometimes death.  The mental addiction spurs physical action and reaction.  Many people who are incarcerated for some heinous crimes admit that hardcore porn was the root cause of their criminal activities.  The mental addiction led to physical addiction, the combination of the two causing horrific results.

It is interesting that God does not refer to continually doing good as an addiction.  One can say that a person who walks in righteousness is addicted to the spirit.  The difference, I think, is that there is nothing bad that comes from the Holy Ghost.  Following the commandments and not letting ourselves get tangled up in the addictions of the world keep us free.  Not free from rules and commandments, but free from the snares that keep us down, free from the social ills of the world, free from much of the heartache and disease that make life miserable.   It is a concept that escapes the majority of people, who think of freedom only in the literal sense of being able to do what they want.  Anarchy has no place in the kingdom of God, which is, of course, a kingdom of order.  It, therefore, has rules to be followed.  That does not limit us, but provides us with the means to be successful and reach our true potential.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 9th, 2008 at 6:27 pm and is filed under Church Meetings, Older Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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