When you hear the word “addictions”, the first thing that pops into your head is probably drugs or alcohol. Gambling or sex addictions might also register as types of negative habits. Or perhaps even the digital obsession many have with their devices. But video game addiction? Is there really such a thing?
Is It Really an Addiction?
According to neuroscience, brain dysfunction is the #1 reason why people fall victim to addiction. So how does a brain become dysfunctional? God has a lot to say about this. We should start at the beginning in Genesis; “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”Genesis 1:27 NIV. We are created in God’s own image,God knows every single cell in our body and how it perfectly functions. So let’s discover more about this magnificent part of the body that God created. Keep in mind that God’s design for humanity and the functioning of the human brain, is God Himself.
Read these details and be awed at this magnificent organ:
- The brain is the most complex organ in the universe.
- It has 100 BILLION neurons (nerve or brain cells).
- TRILLIONS of connections to other cells.
- The human brain can process information as fast as 268 mph.
- There are 100,000 miles of blood vessels in the brain.
- Each person has about 70,000 thoughts a day, 50% in words and 50% in images.
- While awake, a human brain can generate enough energy to power a light bulb (between 10-23 watts).
- It’s a myth that we only use 10% of the brain. A loss of 90% of its function would likely result in being a vegetable or being dead.
- We need and use all our brain – although we aren’t using every single neuron at every moment. (amenclinics.com).
Your brain is involved in everything you do, including how you think, how you feel, how you act and how you get along with other people. Your brain determines your personality, character, intelligence and every single decision that you make. In scripture, the Hebrew word for heart occurs over 1000 times and speaks to the interconnection of the mind and heart. The heart and brain becomes the person’s center for physical, emotional, intellectual and moral activities.
So what is an addiction?
From a scientific point of view, it is anything that is not beneficial to your health, either physically or mentally. Scripture states: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” 1 Corinthians 6:19 NIV.
We forget this and choose to fuel our addictions with daily habits and actions that pollute the brain and make it even harder for them to break free from those addictions. “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.” 1 Corinthians 6:12 NIV
Addictions take over, control us. The addiction becomes the master and takes the place of God. “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God.” Exodus 20:3-5 NIV
The addiction can be broken when we focus on the nature of God and learn from His instruction by taking care of our body “the Temple of the Holy Spirit” and guarding our minds and hearts. “My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:20-27 NIV
What about video addiction?
Most people would agree that video game binges or all-night marathons aren’t beneficial to your health, either physically or mentally. Addictions are made worse when we literally “wear out” the brain’s pleasure centers from constant exposure to highly stimulating activities, such as drugs, video games, and internet pornography. Take inventory of the adrenaline-producing habits in your life. Eliminate unhealthy ones and take breaks from activities (even good ones) that are becoming compulsive.*
Whenever you think about doing or saying something that may have a negative impact on your life, consider the consequences of your behavior. Ask yourself, Am I taking care of this body the way God wants me to or am I letting my craving become master and take control? This question can serve as a stop sign to impulses that are about to take you down the wrong path.
If a loved one is struggling with any form of addiction, our method of integrative cognitive behavioral counseling and biblical truth will guide them to a healthy brain, body and relationship with God.
Colleen Shue, M.Ed.,Counseling Psychology,
Certified in Brain Health and Biblical Counseling
* Excerpts contained in this article are from amenclinics.com