Category Archives: habit

Compulsive Gambling


One dictionary definition of gambling is, ‘the act or practice of consciously risking money or other stakes without being certain of the outcome’. This definition, however, does not adequately explain all that gambling involves. A more precise definition, which takes account of all the factors involved in gambling, may be stated thus: ‘Gambling is an act by which one party consciously risks money or other stakes in the hope of gaining at someone else’s expense (I.e., if I win, he loses, and vice-versa), without giving anything of value in terms of goods in return (to the person from whom one has gained).’

It is immediately obvious from the last part of this definition that gambling is sinful. It involves breaking the eighth commandment: ‘Thou shalt not steal’. Gambling is basically an attempt to gain something at someone else’s expense without giving adequate value in return. The fact that the parties involved agree to this transaction is irrelevant and cannot justify it, any more than the fact that two men agree to fight a duel justifies one of the men killing the other. An agreement to do something wrong is itself wrong. If the one who gambles wins, he is a thief; if he loses, he is guilty of wasting that which the Lord has given to him in trust, whether money or property.

“The Federal Drug Administration estimates sport wagers at $70 billion in 1984. Even that number may be conservative. In 1981 the National Football League made its own estimate that pro football alone was attracting $50 billion a season. . . . It is not being overly dramatic to say that gambling poisons the atmosphere of any game it comes near.

Compulsive gambling is a disorder characterized by an overwhelming, uncontrollable obsession to gamble.

Among some of the typical behavior patterns associated with pathological or compulsive gambling are: a preoccupation with gambling; spending more time or money than can reasonably be afforded; and continuing to gamble despite adverse consequences that affect family, relationships, or educational or vocational pursuits.

Non-pathological and pathological gambling are currently stratified into four levels according to severity of consequences:

  • Level 0 – Non-gamblers
  • Level 1 – Social Gamblers – no ill effects from gambling
  • Level 2 – Problem Gamblers – some significant negative consequences due to gambling
  • Level 3 – Compulsive Gamblers – suffer severe consequences that can include financial devastation, divorce or damaged relationships, impaired physical or emotional health, job loss, and legal difficulties. People affected by compulsive gambling are at higher risk for suicide than most other populations.

A recent comprehensive study on gambling prevalence in the United States and Canada indicates that young people are particularly at risk for developing a severe gambling problem, with a rate of more than twice that of the general adult population. The study also shows that at least 13% of all college students will experience some form of a gambling problem in their lives. At least 90% of all adolescents will have gambled at least once by age 18. (Harvard School of Public Health)

Compulsive gambling shares many characteristics of other addictions, and is often called the invisible addiction. Latest views of this problem consider it more an addictive behavior than an impulse control disorder. When losing, compulsive gamblers become emotionally caught up in trying to win back losses, and when winning become overconfident that they will win more.

Gambling behavior which causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social or vocational. The term "Problem Gambling" includes, but is not limited to, the condition known as "Pathological", or "Compulsive" Gambling, a progressive addiction characterized by increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, "chasing" losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences.

Gambling, both legal and illegal, is a phenomenon gaining unprecedented acceptance. Because it is so widespread, Christians must look at this activity to determine the ethical and moral implications.

Gambling Defined



Advocates of gambling often try to place this activity in the same category as other ventures which involve risk. They describe farming, business, insurance, and even investments as gambling because the outcome is unpredictable and losses can occur. In this way they hope to transfer the respectability of legitimate ventures to gambling.

L. M. Starkey, Jr., has made the following helpful observation: Life does have its normal risks which one must accept with faith and courage. These normal risks are in no sense equivalent to the risks in a game of chance. Gambling devises artificial risks in the hope of excessive gain far beyond what the investment of time, money, or skill would justify. In gambling the chance is unrelated to any creative effort called for by the farmer or the stockbroker in the responsible investment of his mental, monetary, and physical funds.

To distinguish gambling from risks involved in legitimate venture it will be helpful to recognize three factors integral to gambling: (1) An incentive consisting of money or merchandise is offered. (2) The prize is acquired primarily on the basis of chance. (3) A payment of money or other consideration is required to become involved in the chance taken.

Gambling then is recognized as any activity in which wealth changes hands, mainly on the basis of chance and with risk to the gambler. Creative effort, useful skills, and responsible investment are not integral factors.


cause gambling exists in many forms and people in increasing numbers are exposed to its temptations, the responsible Christian must form an opinion concerning its propriety. The legalization of gambling by government or its acceptance by some religious organizations cannot be a criterion for evaluation. The Christian attitude must be determined by the principles of Scripture.

God’s Attitude Toward Gambling

God’s people in Bible times apparently were not greatly tempted with gambling. It seems the vice manifested itself only when Israel was dominated by heathen nations. When gambling did occur God clearly indicated His attitude concerning it.

During their Babylonian captivity the Israelites came under the influence of people who gambled. As a result some of the captives also became involved. To these people God through Isaiah said, "But ye are they that forsake the Lord, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number" (Isaiah 65:11). As indicated in some modern translations of the Bible, the Hebrew words translated "troop" and "number" were names of the heathen gods "Gad" and "Meni." To the heathen, Gad was the giver of good luck. Meni was the god of bad luck.

The translation of Isaiah 65:11 by James Moffat is as follows: "But ye who have forsaken the Eternal, ye who ignore his sacred hill, spreading tables to Good Luck, pouring libations to Fate, I make the sword your fate."

E. H. Plumptre, late Dean of Wells, has pointed out that Gad was worshipped as the greater fortune, the giver of good luck. Meni was worshipped as the lesser fortune. George Rawlinson, who at one time served as professor of Ancient History at Oxford, has indicated the name Meni "designated a deity who apportions men’s fortunes to them."

The sin for which some of the Israelites were condemned was trusting in luck rather than God. Isaiah made it clear that trust in God and trust in luck cannot coexist. If people rely on chance it is evident they do not rely on God. Isaiah described those who trusted in gambling as "they that forsake the Lord" (Isaiah 65:11).

Biblical Principles

A careful reading of Scripture makes it clear there are numerous Biblical principles which indicate gambling is an evil to be avoided. When people recognize God’s authority they will honor the principles which indicate gambling is evil.

1. Gambling is wrong because it is a disregard of responsible stewardship.

The Bible clearly teaches that all things belong to God. "The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein" (Psalm 24:1). Since all things belong to God, man is placed in the position of a steward who must give a proper accounting for everything given to him in trust.

The first step in a faithful administration of this stewardship is the giving of self to God. The believer must recognize he is not his own (1 Corinthians 6:19). He has been redeemed with a price, not of silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Jesus (1 Peter 1:18,19). The churches of Macedonia set a worthy example of personal dedication when they "first gave their own selves to the Lord" (2 Corinthians 8:5). Life, with all it involves, is a stewardship to be administered for the glory of God.

People who honestly dedicate themselves to God will also recognize that all they possess must be handled as a stewardship. The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) indicates that the good and faithful servants administered the talents entrusted to them in such a way that the master was pleased. The wicked and slothful servant failed in his administration and suffered the appropriate consequences.

When people recognize their stewardship responsibilities they will not consider gambling in any form a proper administration of divinely bestowed resources, time, and ability. Even the ethics of the world will not tolerate those who gamble with resources put in their trust. Christian responsibility transcends all other responsibility, and for the Christian, gambling is wrong. It is a total disregard of the principle of stewardship. It is a prostitution of God-given assets which should be used to glorify God and advance His kingdom.

2. Gambling is wrong because it involves a chance of gain at the expense and suffering of others.

The nature of gambling is such that a person has a chance of gain only because others have suffered loss. The economic benefits come only to a very few. The financial loss is borne by many who usually can least afford it. The fact that people involved in gambling are commonly referred to in derogatory terms by its promoters is an indication of the status to which they are reduced. Whether or not the financial loss is excessive, gamblers are basically losers while the operators of gambling establishments are the winners.

The suffering caused by gambling is totally inconsistent with the teaching of Scripture concerning love. Not only is the Christian to love those who are lovable, but even enemies. God’s people are to love their neighbors as themselves. The principle of love will prevent Christians from gambling because of the damage it does to others. The principle of love will cause Christians to oppose any effort by the state or any other organization to legalize any activity based on a weakness of people which degrades society.

William Temple, late Archbishop of Canterbury, stated the Christian position well when he wrote:

Gambling challenges that view of life which the Christian church exists to uphold and extend. Its glorification of mere chance is a denial of the divine order of nature. To risk money haphazardly is to disregard the insistence of the Church in every age of living faith that possessions are a trust, and that men must account to God for their use. The persistent appeal to covetousness is fundamentally opposed to the unselfishness which was taught by Jesus Christ and by the New Testament as a whole. The attempt (inseparable from gambling) to make profit out of the inevitable loss and possible suffering of others is the antithesis of that love of one’s neighbor on which our Lord insisted.

3. Gambling is wrong because it is inconsistent with the work ethic of Scripture.

Throughout Scripture the importance of work is emphasized. In several places the correlation between working and eating is stated. The Old Testament reminds us, "He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread" (Proverbs 12:11).

In the New Testament the same principle is stated with great forcefulness. To the Thessalonians Paul wrote: "When we were wi
th you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10).

Not only does the Bible require that man should work for the necessities of life, but it also warns against the something-for-nothing, get-rich-quick approach. "He that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent" (Proverbs 28:20). "He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil [envious] eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him" (Proverbs 28:22). "Wealth gotten by vanity [without labor or exertion] shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labor shall increase" (Proverbs 13:11).

In the wisdom of God man was assigned work in the garden of Eden even before the Fall (Genesis 2:15ff). Though sin resulted in a change of the nature of work (Genesis 3:17,19) the responsibility of working was never rescinded. Any effort on man’s part to circumvent the work ethic of Scripture can result only in failure. Gambling, whether to secure wealth in a hurry or to place bread on the table, is inconsistent with what the Bible teaches about work.

4. Gambling is wrong because it tends to be habit-forming

Gambling, like other evils, has a tendency to become an addiction. As in the case of alcoholics and drug addicts, compulsive gamblers are dominated to the extent that they risk not only money, but everything meaningful in life. They have lost control of themselves.

This condition is contrary to the teaching of Scripture. The Word of God points out that a Christian will refuse to be brought under the power even of lawful things (1 Corinthians 6:12). The person indwelled by the Holy Spirit will be characterized by temperance, or self-control (Galatians 5:23).

Those who have studied gambling addiction seem to agree there are six symptoms characteristic of compulsive gambling: (1) The activity becomes chronically repetitive. (2) It becomes a mania which precludes all other interests, including the home. (3) A pathologic optimism replaces the ability to learn from previous losing experiences. (4) The ability to stop in a winning situation no longer exists. (5) In spite of initial decisions to gamble only so much the addict invariably risks too much. (6) The activity seems to produce an enjoyable tension consisting of both pain and pleasure.

It is obvious that habitual gamblers are under the control of the compulsion to gamble. Rather than being servants of God, they are servants of a desire they cannot handle. Paul described the condition clearly when he wrote, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey" (Romans 6:16). Because of the degrading possibility of addiction, gambling should be considered an evil.


Christian Responsibility in Relation to Gambling

When the various truths of God’s Word are considered, the Christian cannot adopt a neutral stance toward gambling. There are responsibilities which he cannot ignore.

When the Bible instructs believers, "Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31), it certainly precludes gambling. God is not glorified when people put their trust in chance rather than in the Lord. When God’s Word teaches that we should "abstain from all appearance of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:22) it precludes gambling. There is no way in which a practice can be considered anything other than evil when it violates principles of God’s Word concerning stewardship, consideration of others and the dignity of honest labor.

Those who want to live according to Scripture will refrain from participation in any form of gambling. As the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13) they will also do all within their power to discourage the legalization of gambling, whether to raise money for charity, church, or state.

Gambling is a game of chance. It involves a conscious risk in hope of making a profit, as in playing the lottery. Greed is often the motive in gambling and is prohibited in the Ten Commandments (Exo. 20:17). Believers are to keep themselves from every type of evil (1 Thes. 5:22). Rather, the Old and New Testament teach the importance of hard work, integrity and steadfastness in achieving one’s goals (2 Thes. 3:10-12; Pro. 12:11). Those who illegally benefit from the gambling losses of others are often stealing (Pro. 20:10; Eph. 4:28).

Since institutions like the stock market also involve chance and the transfer of value from one person to another, one might ask, how do the stock market, futures, or insurance policies differ from gambling? Purchasing insurance or investing in the stock market does involve some risk. But the money is invested for the development of a business or the provision of one’s financial security. Chance is not the predominant factor. Gambling, however, is based on chance, using pure luck to acquire “easy money” or get rich quick. Some religious groups have used games of chance like bingo as a means of fund raising.

There can be serious consequences from gambling. Such things as a loss of income, indebtedness, and strained family relations are among them. Games of chance can affect the mental, emotional and spiritual health of a person and may result in addiction. Gamblers Anonymous seeks to help those who have become addicted to gambling. 

A sovereign God is Lord over all of life and is not subject to games of chance (Psa. 33:6-12; Isa. 46:8-11; Rom. 11:36). He provides for the financial needs of believers according to His will (Phi. 4:19). But He usually uses hard work, industry, and a moral lifestyle to provide for those needs.


Casting of Lots. The casting of lots under the Mosaic Law in the Old Testament was a common practice (Num. 26:52-56; 1 Sam. 10:20-21; 1 Chr. 24:5). It was used to make decisions for God’s people. Matthias, a replacement for Judas, was chosen by lot (Acts 1:26). The early church evidently discontinued the practice, relying instead on the Holy Spirit, the principles taught by the early Apostles elders, and approval by church body (Acts 6:1-6, 13:1-2). Casting lots therefore cannot be equated with the modern idea of gambling.

In His Grace Forever,

Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP

Young Adult Crisis Hotline and

Biblical Counseling Center

Call Toll Free: 1-877-702-2GOD



Family Intervention: Addiction and Life Controlling Issues


An intervention is an orchestrated attempt by one, or often many, people (usually concerned family and friends) and an interventionists to get someone to seek professional help with an addiction or some other life controlling problem.

People sometimes engage in self-destructive behavior, rejecting any assistance others may offer. Intervention, when done correctly, is extremely effective in helping these people accept help.

Long used for substance abuse (alcohol abuse, drug abuse) and addiction (alcoholism, drug addiction), intervention is now also used for compulsive behaviors including gambling, sex addiction, computer addiction, and eating disorders.

The kindest and most loving thing family and friends can do.

Interventions have been used to address serious personal problems, including, but not limited to, alcoholism, compulsive gambling, drug abuse, compulsive eating and other eating disorders, self-mutilation,  "workaholics", and various types of poor personal health care.


Interventions are either direct, typically involving a  face-to-face meeting that has challenge to the alcohol, drug dependent person (the most typical type of intervention), or other self-destructive behaviors.

In the same sense, direct interventions tend to be a form of short-term coaching aimed at getting the addicted person into inpatient rehabilitation.

Plans for direct intervention

Plans for a direct intervention are typically made by a concerned group of family and friends,  rather than by the addict. Often the addict will not agree that they need the type of help that is proposed during the intervention, usually thought by those performing the intervention to be a result of denial.  Typically, the addict is surprised by the intervention by friends and family members.

Prior preparation

Prior to the intervention itself, the family meets with a  interventionist. Families prepare speeches in which they share their negative experiences associated with the target’s particular addiction-based lifestyle, to convey to the target the amount of pain his or her addiction has caused others. Also during the intervention rehearsal meeting, each group member is strongly urged to create a list of activities (by the addict or individual with life controlling problems) that they will no longer tolerate, finance, or participate in if the individual doesn’t agree to check into a rehabilitation center for treatment or get intensified counseling for their specific life controlling problem. These usually involve very serious losses to the individual if s/he refuses.

What the person may lose

These items may be as simple as no longer loaning money to the addict, but can be far more alarming. It is common for groups to threaten the individual with permanent rejection (banishment) from the family until treatment is sought. Wives often threaten to leave their husbands during this phase of the intervention, and vice versa. If the individual happens to have any outstanding arrest warrants or other unresolved criminal issues, the threat is usually made that he or she will be turned in to the authorities.

Family and friends present every possible loss that the family can think of to the individual, who then must decide whether to check into the prescribed rehabilitation center and get the prescribed intensified counseling if this an alternative, or deal with the promised losses.

The process of the intervention will have various stages and these are some that I have noted below. I have also noted my personal experience with interventions as a Christian coach and pastor. The experience is extensive and has an extremely high success record. Therefore, I would like to share with you the process and my personal thoughts  behind the process for intervention. This is not a guide written in stone and is flexible because every person is an individual. My interventions are conducted locally and are usually at no cost for my complete participation.  Usually my travel expense, and other expenses are reimbursed if they are needed to travel more than 50 miles. Donations are usually given to our foundation the Young Adult Crisis Hotline for my time, however this is no a condition and not mandatory.


Critical Crises often offer particularly good windows of opportunity for motivation and intervention. These usually occur in these stages:

  • Pre-contemplation, in which the individual is not considering change.
  • Contemplation, in which the individual is undecided, weighing the pros and cons of change.
  • Determination or preparation, where the balance tips in favor of change and the individual begins considering options.
  • Action, which involves the individual taking specific steps to accomplish change.

During an successfully conducted intervention, with me as  a Christian Counseling and coach the addict or the  individual with life controlling problems does not feel manipulated, forced, directed, coerced, or advised. Direction is typically accomplished through open-ended questions and selective reflection of past and current behavior rather than through more overtly confrontational strategies and advice giving. This is not like other direct confrontational styles that secular interventionists would rather use in an intervention. I like to personally walk, individuals and their families through a series of what are their future goals and how their current behavior hurts the chances of them attaining their future goals. This is where we weigh out the current state and the future. In interventions that I  participate and conduct, I prefer using encouragement and reinforcement to use the individuals own words, desires, plans, and goals to make a sincere commitment to treatment or long-term intensified counseling. 

The interventions are like this  metaphor, the client and counselor are working a jigsaw puzzle together.

Rather than putting the pieces in place while the client watches like most secular interventionists, the counselor helps to construct the frame, then puts pieces on the table for the client to place. The basic conditions of client-centered pastoral counseling and  coaching  provide a strong foundation, with particular emphasis on the strategies of open-ended questions and reflective listening. Such supportive and motivation-building strategies are employed until resistance abates and the client shows indication of being ready to discuss change.

During interventions I might also show agreement with the client’s points of view which shows empathy and personal care. Then I like to re-frame the initial agreement with the goal of motivating the client to a place of reality and rational thought . The goal is still remains encouragement and reinforcement  instead of  confrontation. This encounter, will slowly  challenge the client  in the sense of bringing the client face to face with a difficult reality and thereby initiating change in their mind about their particular life controlling issues. This encourages a client to have personal responsibility and ownership of their own unwelcome behavior. This therefore with out using a threatening confrontational  approach encourages discussion rather that conflict. We have turned the intense conflict to a place of opportunity which produces unity.   

This final action stage of an intervention begins  of confession/admission of their hopelessness and need for help.  This reveals the individuals sincerity and  begins to remove layers of denial.

The client is in the process to “change their mind” about their behavior, which increases the chances if long-term recovery because repentance was initially involved which produces personal responsibility. This leads to Counseling with Rational expression of God which decreases resistance behaviors and has reframed new meanings of Grace to the individual. Many of these times of God’s Grace takes the form of the counselor giving voice to the client’s behavior to instruct and teach verbalizations of the need for change.

If denial which is a defense mechanism in which a person is faced with a fact that  are too painful to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite overwhelming evidence. The subject may deny the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether (simple denial), admit the fact but deny its seriousness (minimization) or admit both the fact and seriousness but deny personal responsibility (Which is transference: characterized by unconscious redirection of feelings from one person to another). I employ another reoriented approach and have increased family involvement in the intervention.

I essentially have carefully taken notes on the individual’s goals and the puzzle the client has constructed  for us and begin the intervention from the initial stage. The family at this point know that we will enter into weighing consequences for lack of personal responsibility. The family will at this point be the reinforcement mechanism keeping the client as the  central focus of the intervention.

I will begin by explaining essential the part of personal responsibility and action to the client. Then I will encourage the concerned group of family and friends  to begin with their prepared speeches to share their negative experiences associated with the target’s particular addiction-based lifestyle, to convey to the client the amount of pain his or her addiction has caused others. Then I will discuss what promised loss. At this point I will ask for the  prepared lists of promised loss that the concerned group of family and friends  are willing to stand by if the target doesn’t agree to check into a rehabilitation center for treatment or agree to mandatory long-term intensified counseling. These usually involve very serious losses to the addict if s/he refuses.

I re-evaluate the individual and the atmosphere to see which direction the intervention  will proceed toward and ask for feed back from the individual how they will feel when these lists of promised loss are enacted. I again will use motivational methods to show the target how much more they gain instead of lose if the choose personal responsibility and ownership. I will re offer the non-negotiable option to seek inpatient treatment or mandatory long-term intensified counseling.

At this point, have evaluated the target extensively and  learned a lot about the target and have more information to  discern the individual’s the denial factors, their responses or reactions and the authenticity for genuine desire for change.  

discern : rationally recognize mentally and see if can understand the difference responses : usually objective well thought out)

reactions : usually subjective and emotionally driven

This is a vital part of the intervention if we have come to this point because we never want manipulated desire which will never  develop a sincere commitment and genuine repentance.  Without a sincere commitment from the individual real change rarely occurs because they feel  forced to get help and usually never complete the treatment. This is because they have the wrong motivation for going to treatment to begin with.

If the individual remains in denial or refuses to get help at this point I encourage the concerned family and friends to keep their promise of loss and to follow through with them immediately. I then address the individual and encourage them to contact me when they are ready and want to make a sincere decision for treatment.

If the opposite takes place and genuine desire is evident for treatment and the individual is ready after weighing the losses. I encourage action and immediate placement into a program that we have already retained in the preliminary meetings. 

The process of motivational reversal usually does not take place and the loss becomes the eventual encouragement for change of the desire of the individual.  This is because the denial of their self-destructive behaviors runs deep in their sub conscious mind. This is usually is the case in long-term addicted individuals with co-dependent  family members, who  the addict knows lack the backbone for action to fulfill the promised loss. The family members of close friends who will not follow through with their promised losses are only extending their own personal agony and the suffering of their loved who is the target. They have also wasted a lot of vital time that could have been spent with others who need the help that was freely given.

During the next several weeks, I personally will follow through with each individual when ever possible who was at the intervention. I will encourage that the promised losses are followed through and am constantly evaluating  to see when the losses will create the proper sincere motivation for change.

If the intervention was initially successful but the individual however did not follow through with the required treatment options in the time prescribed we will follow through until they do or we enter into another intervention where the promised losses ar

e laid out to the individual. This sometimes occurs because of poor time-management skills and lack of follow through on the part of the client which is a common behavior with the addicted and those with life controlling problems.

Summary of

Intervention Goals:

In an intervention, the goal is for the addict or target to take personal responsibility and make a sincere commitment for action and treatment for their self-destructive habits and behaviors.

An addict or individual with life controlling problems often compares himself to peers and reaches in the conclusion that he is normal. As a result he never realizes that he has lost control. What they need in this condition is honest rational objective feedback that their self-destructive habits and behaviors are dangerous and deadly. A skilled interventionist, with the support of family and friends of the addict or target, can help them to realize the situation through the process of an intervention. The interventionist, who gets an idea of the nature and degree of the addiction through meetings with the addict and family, can make constructive opinions on the addict’s behavior.

Through intervention the addict will understand the limits his concerned friend and family have set and realize the fact that they have a problem. They also will know that because of love they were address by their concerned friends and family. More significantly; they will understand that their concerned friend and family will not continue putting up with their self-destructive habits and behaviors. The beginning of liberation of suffering, for both the addict and the family, is the primary agenda of any Intervention. Changing the self-destructive behavior at the source of suffering is always the focus of an intervention.

The sought after result of the intervention, obviously, is getting the individual with life controlling issues to agree that a problem exists and ask for help. The interventionists, at this time, are required to possess enough knowledge to help with referrals of treatment that would be suitable to that particular person as an individual. No one is the same, everyone does not  fit into a mold and each plan must be specifically tailored to each individual. This is not a “one size fits all” strategy.

Then it is vital to comprehend the variety and efficiency of different treatments so that the recommendation can be individualized.

Advanced and highly effective treatment methods for drug and alcohol addiction are available in a wide range of methods. A number of treatment and recovery program options can be considered for every patient. With a lot of choices, it would be advisable if those intervening on behalf of the abuser agree on the program or method most suited for the addict a preliminary meeting prior to the intervention. The availability of these various treatment centers are always a concern, therefore the selection and eventual placement of an appropriate treatment program a difficult task.

Also, in the preliminarily meeting, after deciding on the treatment intended to be proposed for the addict, is required to contact the chosen facility to see if their is availability. The admittance procedure, financial obligation and mode of treatment must be thoroughly discussed with the family.

This is to determine if there is insurance involved and if cost restraints will also be a consideration of treatment. The cost for inpatient treatment varies considerably for 30 day programs with ranges between $4900 and $13,500. The average cost for a licensed 30 day treatment facility is usually $7,500 to $8,900.

If cost restraints, lack of insurance or no funding is available for treatment from the friends, family members, or their employer it will make it extremely difficult for placement into treatment. It is rare that public beds are available and are usually reserved for those in the various entitlement programs.

Free treatment is rare, however available at several homeless shelters, Christian missions with recovery components, foundation’s adult based recovery programs like the Salvation Army and teen challenge. Remember, the individual usually must be detoxified before admittance is even discussed. Please take this into consideration also in the degree of cost and planning.

Addicts live and die on their chance to recover so this is not a decision to be made on the spur of the moment. Convincing the addict of the effect of the treatment is as important as making him recognize his addiction. Moreover, he can be give valuable opinions while selecting an appropriate treatment program.

Everyone is biologically different and responds to Treatment can be different for each. So, the methods and time of treatment vary from patient to patient as the reaction varies according to the individual stage of addiction. In fact, the roadmap for the treatment program takes shape here.

To get the maximum out of it, intervention needs to be conducted on a sober person that is not intoxicated. More importantly, the one who undergo intervention needs to remain sober throughout the entire process of intervention. In any case, attempting an intervention while a person is on a high or intoxicated will usually not be productive because the addict cannot see many of their problems when in a fog of intoxication.

The broken lives and countless numbers of  young adults are being healed and reconstructed daily by our interventions. We have numerous success stories of Young Adults that have come through the valley and in the end have thanked God for the valley. Today they are helping others and serving God all around the world as missionaries, pastors, youth leaders, and Sunday school teachers

In His Grace Forever,
Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP
Young Adult Crisis Hotline
and Biblical Counseling Center

Call Toll Free: 1-877-702-2GOD


Causes of Addiction

Many factors influence and cause a person’s behavior patterns to become addictive. Personality characteristics, peer pressure, and psychological stress can all contribute to the early stage of abuse. These factors are less important as use continues and the person repeatedly experiences the potent effects of the drug or euphoric feeling that the addictive behavior welcomes. This chemical action, which stimulates certain brain systems, produces the addiction, while other psychological and social factors become less and less important in influencing the individual’s behavior. When the action of a drug or repetitive action dominates the individual’s behavior, the normal psychological and social control of behavior is no longer effective, the addiction is fully developed. This self-perceived “loss of control” is a common feature of addiction and reflects the biological nature of the problem.

Stress and anxiety is a major cause of addiction. When the external pressures build up some people use drugs or alcohol to shelter their stress and provide the sense of well being. The development of the addiction brings no longer relief but disharmony.
Stress management is not the same thing as stress relief. Stress management is a long-term solution to millions of short-term problems. A true stress management “program” focuses more on internal sources of stress (the ones we create for ourselves in our own heads) than it does external sources (the ones we see around us and blame for the way we feel).

Addiction is a serious social, health, and metal problem. It disrupts families, ruins careers, destroys bodies, tears apart friendships, and leads to untold human misery. Addiction is chronic, complex, progressive behavior that interferes with one’s own health, social, and economic functioning. This learned behavior taught to you by repetition and habitual actions. This self-inflicted problem centers on self and the free will of personal choices.

Addiction, at its extreme, is an overwhelming pathological involvement. The object of addiction is the addicted person’s experience of the combined physical, emotional, and environmental elements that make up the involvement for that person. Addiction is often characterized by a traumatic withdrawal reaction to the deprivation of this state or experience. Tolerance-or the increasingly high level of need for the experience-and craving are measured by how willing the person is to sacrifice other rewards or sources of well-being in life to the pursuit of the involvement. The key to addiction, seen in this light, is its persistence in the face of harmful consequences for the individual. This book embraces rather than evades the complicated and multifactor nature of addiction. Only by accepting this complexity is it possible to put together a meaningful picture of addiction, to say something useful about drug use as well as about other compulsions, and to comprehend the ways in which people hurt themselves through their own behavior as well as grow beyond self-destructive involvements.

Different Theories of How Addiction Is Caused

A theory is an idea about how things work, what causes something to happen, or an attempt to explain something in our world that we don’t fully understand.

  • Disease theory:

Healthy people experiment in response to curiosity or peer pressure and become physically addicted so that the drug abuse becomes a disease. This usually removes human responsibility. Therefore, is does not address a RATIONAL solution to the root cause of addiction.

  • Gate way theory:

Use of one drug becomes a stepping-stone to drugs that are more harmful. This can play a part in the process, but can used to blame others for an individuals addiction.

  • Social theory:
Race, age, socioeconomic status, the neighborhood where one lives, educational level, peer influences. The major environmental cause for addiction remains to be Human choice regardless of the environment.
  • Psychological theory:
Look with in the drug user to see personality traits, psychological stresses, inner conflicts, hidden fears, or

individual needs. This is a major contributor to the theory of the cause of addiction. Every individual has been predisposed with corrupted genetics from the fallen emotions that man posses. The mental coping of the fallen emotions is a leading cause of addiction. When an individual does not think rationally than his behavior with become irrational.

Psychosocial theory:

Addiction is Prone because of personality, stresses, or other influences. This theory combined with the other rational theories can contribute to addictive influences.

  • Peer cluster theory:

Addictive substances and their consumption is reinforced by the accompanied social interactions is a major theory of how an why addiction is caused. This theory combined with other reasons and methodologies of addiction can be proven to remain ration causes of the addictive process.

These different theories of how addiction is caused are diverse in their methods of diagnosis. They are diverse meaning that they have numerous multifaceted sources of study and examination. I personally believe that we must explore them individually and remember that human responsibility is the key to the discovery of the truth behind the different theories. Many times because of narrow thought, many have explained the theories of addiction to be one path and have no alternative direction or alternative theory. Many factors may contribute why or why not individuals become addicted. The real root of the problem must be addressed instead of the surface of the addiction itself. The underlying diverse causes of addiction theory

A scientific theory is one that can be tested through experimentation or study.

A model is a more detailed description of why something happens and how it happens, and is based on theory.

Moral Model

Moral theories and models are based on beliefs or judgments of what is right or wrong, acceptable or unacceptable. These judgments imply that people who use drugs or alcohol are bad or sinful people. There is something morally wrong with people who use drugs or alcohol heavily. This model contributes little to our understanding of why people use drugs and alcohol heavily and offers no real help to those who have problems in their lives because of alcohol or drugs.

Biological models of addiction assume that people addicted to drugs or alcohol has a biological abnormality that causes them to become addicted. Like the moral model, there is something wrong with these people. However, what is wrong is assumed to be something physical that is beyond the control of the individual. These people are not sinful or bad, but they are sick. These models are sometimes referred to as Disease Models These models suggest that a biological abnormality causes an alcoholic’s desire for another drink to increase after taking one drink, and that long-term drinking or drug use leads to damage of brain centers responsible for willpower and judgment. According to these models, alcoholism and addiction are incurable diseases and the best that can be hoped for is to achieve remission.

It has been suggested that societies that produce higher levels of inner tension such as guilt, stress, suppressed aggression, conflict and sexual tensions have higher rates of heavy drinking and drug use. This idea suggests that the primary role of alcohol and drug use is to reduce anxiety. Another idea under this model is that societies that are permissive of and/or encourage drug or alcohol use have higher rates of problem drinking and drug use. This model also examines the influence of those who stand to make a profit, such a the makers of alcohol. Consider the many beer commercials on television, or the promotion of sporting events by tobacco manufacturers.

Psychological models view heavy alcohol and drug use as problem behaviors. An individual drinks or uses to enjoy the effects of alcohol or drugs. Under these models a user or drinker is not bad or deficient in any way. Anyone can become addicted to drugs or alcohol because of the way our bodies and minds work, and because of how alcohol and drugs affect our bodies and minds.

Social Learning Model

This is a psychological model of understanding problematic drug and alcohol use. It is based on results of scientific experimentation and study. It proposes that drug or alcohol use is learned and continues because the user gets some desired outcome from it. We also learn to drink or use in response to certain stimuli–people, places, things, events, thoughts and feelings. Under this model, users are not bad or defective people with some abnormality. Anyone can become addicted to drugs or alcohol because of the way that alcohol and drugs affect our minds and bodies.

The five General domains of addiction:

  • Social: With whom do they spend most of their time? With whom do they use drugs? Do they have relationships with those individuals that do not involve substance abuse? Do they live with someone who is a substance abuser? How has their social network changed since drug abuse began or escalated?
  • Environmental: What are the particular environmental cues for their drug abuse (e.g., money, alcohol use, particular times of the day, certain neighborhoods)? What is the level of their day-to-day exposure to these cues? Can some of these cues be easily avoided?
  • Emotional: Research has shown that feeling states commonly precede substance abuse or craving. These include both negative (depression, anxiety, boredom, anger) and positive (excitement, joy) affect states.
  • Cognitive: Particular sets of thought or cognition frequently precede drug use (I need to escape, I cannot deal with this unless I am high, with what I am going through I deserve to get high). These thoughts are often charged and have a sense of urgency.
  • Physical: Desire for relief from uncomfortable physical states such as withdrawal. While controversy surrounding the nature of physical withdrawal symptoms.
The Stroke:

Emotional disturbance

Psalm 39:10 Remove thy Stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand. {blow: Heb. conflict}

In the Hebrew is:


Meaning: 1) stroke, plague, disease, mark, plague spot

Spiritually diseased:
1) Infection caused by personal decisions, or environmental stress, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms.

It alters the primary function in which it disturbs the performance.
  • A disease is usually deep-seated and least prolonged
  • A disorder is often slight, partial, and temporary
  • A malady refers to the suffering endured.

In His Grace Forever,
Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP
Young Adult Crisis Hotline
and Biblical Counseling Center



The word “strongholds” (Gr. ochuroma) occurs only once in the New Testament. According to Arndt-Gingrich, it was used in New Testament times to denote “fortress” or “prison” (606). Having learned this, it is not surprising that some have concluded “strongholds” to mean “a gathering place” for demons. By studying the context we will see right away that this is not the sense in which Paul used it here.


Can we know what Paul meant by “strongholds”? Not only can we know, it is imperative that we know if we are going to use the term in our personal spiritual warfare and in our ministries. False doctrine is usually the result of flawed hermeneutics. Scripture is its own best interpreter. We are commanded to study to show ourselves “approved of God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). After ascertaining the plain meaning of any portion to the best of our ability, we then carefully and prayerfully study the context to gather further information, looking to the Holy Spirit for illumination.

The “strongholds” of 2 Corinthians 10:4 cannot refer to evil spirits, as study of the context will show clearly. In fact, the entire epistle does not have a single reference to evil spirits. It is basically a letter to bring the Church at Corinth back to their former allegiance to the ministry of the one who brought them the Gospel at first. Chapters 1-7 contain loving admonitions for the Church, along with the beginning of Paul’s defense of his ministry, which was being maligned. Chapters 8-9 encourage generous giving to spread the Gospel. Chapters 10-13 comprise Paul’s forceful defense of his apostleship and ministry against the vituperative attacks of “false apostles” (11:13) who were spreading vicious lies about him (10:2,10; 11:6-7,15; 12:11-12). In their attempts to alienate the Corinthians from Paul, his enemies were accusing him: of having weak bodily presence (10:10), of poor speaking skill (11:6), of being inferior (11:16), of not really being an apostle (12:11-12), and of using fleshly methods for self-aggrandizement (10:3). With all that in mind, we can understand Paul’s appeal in chapter 10, including his usage of the term “strongholds.”

First, he pleads with the Corinthians to retain their confidence in him (10:1-3). He makes a play on words, using sarx in two ways. He writes: “Though we walk in the flesh (sarx-we are still in a physical body), we do not war according to the flesh (sarx-in a carnal, worldly way). His enemies were accusing Paul of something he avoided assiduously.

Second, in verses 4-6, he tells the Corinthians how he will win in the “war” against Truth: (1) He will not use carnal (sarkikos) weapons, but he will use weapons that are “mighty through God for pulling down strongholds.” (2) He defines the “strongholds”; they are “arguments (logizmous, imaginations)” against his ministry (5a), the “high thing” (hypsoma, the prideful arrogance of his enemies) that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (5b); and the thoughts (noema) that are not obedient to Christ (5c). Hypsoma, “high thing” can be used to refer to a spirit in Greek mythology, but in context here it refers to that which exalts itself above the Truth of the Gospel as preached by Paul. As Craig Keener has written:

Greek sages sometimes described their battle against false ideas as a war, in terms similar to those Paul uses here. Like those sages, Paul claims to be doing battle with false ideas. “Arguments” (NIV, NRSV, TEV) or “speculations” (NASB) is a technical term for “rhetorical or philosophical” reasonings; the prisoners of war in this extended metaphor are human thoughts. Cf. Proverbs 21:22 (508).

When people believe lies, they are allowing a prison of deceit to be established in their minds. Believing a lie is one of the most dangerous things a person can do. Our eternal destiny depends on our believing Truth. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word (Romans 10: 17); without Biblical faith we cannot be saved. In further emphasizing that the mind is the battlefield under attack, Paul expresses his deep concern:

I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2-3).

H. D. Spence describes the strongholds as “the evil fortifications of the mind, corrupt thinking, prejudices, worldly maxims, evil thinkings. The work of the true soldier is to bring this frontal force into entire subjection to Christ” (242).

Third, Paul tells which weapons will be effective to pull the strongholds down: (1) The stronghold of false arguments and diabolical arrogance will be cast down by the knowledge of God, the full Truth (10:5a), exposing the God-given validity of his apostleship and the satanic nature of his enemies (11:13, 12:12). (2) The stronghold of wrong thoughts will be pulled down by bringing every thought into “captivity to the obedience of Christ” (10:5b). (3) Paul will personally punish all disobedience (including that of the false apostles) as soon as the Corinthians have fulfilled their obedience to his apostolic authority (10:6; 12:20-21; 13:2,10).

As we gain understanding of the crucial nature of the war against Paul’s ministry and against the Church at Corinth, we appreciate the power of Truth to overcome Lies. In his comments on 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, Matthew Henry has recorded:

What opposition is made against the Gospel, by the powers of sin and Satan in the hearts of men: ignorance, prejudices, beloved lusts, are Satan’s strongholds in the souls of some; vain imaginations, carnal reasonings, and high thoughts, or proud conceits, in others. But then observe, the conquest which the word of God gains. These strongholds are pulled down by the Gospel as the means, through the grace and power of God accompanying it as the principal efficient cause (1090).

The devil’s primary strategy is to disguise his activities so that it appears that someone or something else is to blame. He wants us to get our attention on his surrogates, his instruments, his hindrances and “wrestle” with them, so that our battle will be directed against the “symptoms” instead of the “real source.”

2 CORINTHIANS 10:3-5 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

ROMANS 6:16 “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey.”

JOHN 10:10,11 “The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (Abundant Life). I am the good shepherd …”


1. The stronghold exists in the person’s MIND (the stronghold is a lie)
2. The stronghold is deceitfully hidden from the person’s awareness.
3. The stronghold has existed for considerable time.
4. The stronghold has tempted the person to sin repeatedly.
5. The stronghold repeatedly overpowers the person, creating hopelessness.
6. The stronghold has many intellectual and emotional defenses.
7. The stronghold is actively and aggressively opposed to God and His truth.

1. The Center of the stronghold is the: the Main Lie

(The place where corrupt irrational thought or thoughts is believed to be rational and exalts its self above rational truth and rational reasoning. These thoughts have become high thoughts and therefore carnal reasoning replaces rational thoughts (Mind of God) and thinking about a specific area or areas of rational truth. They have because of deception of carnal thinking become the evil fortifications of the mind against the truth.

2. The castle controls a specific mental location: the Dark Deception
3. The castle is protected by guards: the Lie Defenders:
– Emotional outbursts – Personal attacks
– Mental arguments – Rationalization of behavior
– Past failures – Change the subject
– Peer comparisons (“I’m not as bad as that other person.”)

4. The lie tempts and controls behavior
5. The lie strengthens his kingdom and his control of behavior
6. The lie plants other related strongholds and tries to expand his kingdom

In His Grace Forever,
Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP
Young Adult Crisis Hotline
and Biblical Counseling Center

Young Adult Crisis Counseling Hotline

“Crisis Coaching that can help you again to begin to think Rationally with Reality about the Crisis that you are personally facing!” __________________________________________________________

Call Toll Free:


ALL CALLS FREE, CONFIDENTIAL AND ANONYMOUS! ________________________________________________________________

The Young Adult Crisis Hotline provides an accepting non-judgmental place to call in the midst of crisis when dealing with life controlling issues. We also offer practical advice for family members who are in desperate need of guidance. We offer no cost rational and objective advice from a variety of life issues such as anxiety, depression, abuse, addiction, relational issues, family intervention needs, and eating disorders from a Biblical Viewpoint. If you are at a point of crisis and are looking for objective rational no cost advice from a Biblical Viewpoint please give us a call.

“People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

“The Young Adult Crisis Hotline offers immediate emotional support by telephone volunteers trained to help young adults and their family members in crisis who may be having relational problems, addictions, eating disorders, are suicidal, in emotional distress, or in need of reassurance in the midst of crisis because of life controlling issues or life’s transitions. Services are at no cost, confidential, and anonymous.”

We provide an accepting environment that allows for God’s grace and healing for those seeking with life controlling issues. We offer rational and objective advice from a variety of life issues such as anxiety, depression, abuse, addiction, relational issues, family intervention, eating disorders. If you are at a point of crisis and are looking for objective rational no cost advice please give us a call.



The Young Adult Crisis Hotline provides an accepting non-judgmental place to call in the midst of crisis when dealing with life controlling issues. We also offer practical advice for family members who are in desperate need of guidance. We offer no cost rational and objective advice from a variety of life issues such as anxiety, depression, abuse, addiction, relational issues, family intervention needs, and eating disorders from a Biblical Viewpoint. If you are at a point of crisis and are looking for objective rational no cost advice from a Biblical Viewpoint please give us a call.

If you are a young adult or a family member of a young adult who is in crisis this hotline number is for you! Transitions in life can cause the feeling of Crisis and loss of control. If you need non-judgmental advice and clarity in the midst of confusion please call us day or night. If you have lost control and realize that you need help with your life controlling problems call us. Also if your family member is going through a crisis and are in need of Support please call us we participate in family Interventions for life controlling problems with families that are at no cost locally.

If you are a young adult or a family member of a young adult who is in crisis this hotline number is for you. I have below defined what I believe a Critical Crisis can be in a young adults life and hopefully you can reach out for encouragement during these times in you life.

Critical Crisis Definition: A crisis is a turning point or decisive moment in events where you as a young adult or as a family member have met a crossroad. Typically, it is the moment from which an imminent critical trauma may go on to death or recovery. More loosely, it is a term meaning ‘a testing time’ or ’emergency event’. This crossroad is a crucial, decisive point or situation where a turning point, or an emotionally stressful event or traumatic change in a person’s life will be taking place.

A Critical situation you or a loved one is either in or verging on a state of crisis or emergency. The Young Adult Crisis Hotline offers immediate emotional support by telephone volunteers trained to help young adults who may be having relational problems, addictions, have an eating disorder, are suicidal, in emotional distress, or in need of reassurance.

Services are free, confidential, and anonymous. Professionally trained volunteers handle incoming calls using active, caring, and nonjudgmental listening and problem-solving skills.

All calls are free, confidential and anonymous. Young Adults in crisis… they’re everywhere. Faced with physical and emotional abuse, drugs, peer pressure and the like, many today just don’t have the resources or support to handle the pressure. The marketing experts at Hallmark say that “15 million Americans now attend weekly support groups for chemical addictions and other problems. Another 100 million relatives are cheering on their addicted loved ones. This means that half of all Americans are either in recovery or helping someone who is.”

We personally want to be able to reach out and help those who are in critical crisis with personal encouragement and care through the storm that faces your life personally. Please call us and let me try to help you right where you are at in your life. No matter how far, or how low you think you are it is not too late for help!

Most of the time, we are just facing what we have personally chosen previously over and over again as a choice. Now we are facing a mountain and need help or a guide to help us through the dangerous path around the mountain passes. We just want to be that guide and be there for you if you want that guide, to survive the mountain passes. Please call, anytime day or night!

Young Adults in crisis… they’re everywhere. Faced with physical and emotional abuse, drugs, peer pressure and the like, many today just don’t have the resources or support to handle the pressure. We personally want to be able to be an outpost of hope for you. Please reach out and get help in the midst of your crisis. We will offer personal encouragement and non-judgmental care through the storm that faces your life personally. Please call us and let us try to help you right where you are at in your life. No matter how far, or how low you think you are it is not too late for help!

Please Call toll Free 1-877-702-2GOD


In His Grace Forever,

Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP

Please Call toll Free 1-877-702-2GOD (2463)

Young Adult Crisis Hotline

and Biblical Counseling Center