Serenity Seekers defines addiction within the parameters of the First Commandment (Exodus 20:1,2) which reads, “I am the Lord your God (Creator, Sustainer, Provider, Comforter, Counselor, Healer, Protector, Deliverer, Motivator), who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other Gods before me.(NIV)” With that in mind, one must ask an evaluator’s question, “When I am in need of sustenance, provision, comfort, counsel, healing, protection, and/or deliverance, what do I do?” If your answer to that question reveals doing anything other than depending upon God, then you are engaged in potentially addictive behavior. Addiction is defined as using people, places and things to medicate, mediate, or avoid feelings resulting from relationships with people, places and things. The Serenity Bible suggests a list of 18 behaviors that can be addictive (pgs 13,14) to which SS has added 19 -26:
1. Alcohol or drugs
2. Work, achievement, and success
3. Money addictions, such as overspending, gambling, hoarding
4. Control addictions, especially if they surface in personal, sexual, family, and business relationships
5. Food addictions
6. Sexual addictions
7. Approval dependency (the need to please people)
8. Rescuing patterns toward other persons
9. Dependency on toxic relationships (relationships that are damaging and hurtful)
10. Physical illness (hypochondria)
11. Exercise and physical conditioning
12. Cosmetics, clothes, cosmetic surgery, trying to look good on the outside
13. Academic pursuits and excessive intellectualizing
14. Religiosity or religious legalism (preoccupation with the form and the rules and regulations of religion, rather than benefiting from the real spiritual message)
15. General perfectionism
16. Cleaning and avoiding contamination and other obsessive-compulsive symptoms
17. Organizing, structuring (the need always to have everything in its place)
18. Materialism, 19.Cigarettes, 20. Caffeine, 21.Entertainment, 22. Isolation, 23.Anger, 24. Depression, 25. Hyper-vigilance, 26. Dissociation.
Some of these are what Addictionologists refer to as process addictions. All of these behaviors violate the First Commandment because rather than depending upon the One True God, we are depending on people, places and things to fix the problem. Such behaviors are best identified as sin and need to be dealt with as such. The First Step is the best place to begin, and hence Serenity Seekers use of the Twelve Steps and the Serenity Bible to free us from the bondage and slavery these behaviors create.
Then too, when the principles of addiction in Romans 1 are taken into consideration, the Serenity Bible becomes of even more import. In Romans 1 we are warned that if we do not change our behavior, God will “give us over to shameful lusts…give us over to the sinful desires of our hearts…(and) give us over to a depraved mind.” It certainly sounds like addiction and bondage to the members of Serenity Seekers.
Coupled with these thoughts and the fact that we are living in the post Christian Era in America, and as such Americans are Biblically ignorant, the presentation of the Serenity Bible is timely. It is a simple and easy to read edition containing the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs which is a great place to begin to solve the problem of Biblical ignorance, while at the same time offering a viable solution to the problems of addiction.