How Does the Bible Verse Hosea 46 Speak to Drug Addiction?
A common occurrence among those who struggle with substance abuse is an overriding sense of having lost their way. While many health care practitioners focus on the physical and mental aspects of drug and alcohol addictions, as they can be debilitating, many believe it is essential to include the Spirit. The benefits of spirituality can transcend the person who needs treatment by touching and positively affecting their family members as well. But not all are in tune with this belief, which is captured in the Bible verse Hosea 4:6, its mention of lack of knowledge, and the meaning behind it.
With Acceptance Comes Forgiveness
Many hold that spirituality is a key component to successful recovery, offering a greater path towards acceptance and healing for individuals with substance addiction and those who love them. For believers, the added support of a faith-based treatment program is thought to help make the transformation into a life of sobriety easier, not to mention the personal growth attained in the process.
In Darkness, the Light Can Shine Bright
One of the most powerful tenets of the traditional 12-Step program, originating in Alcoholics Anonymous, is based on many of the teachings in Christianity that focus on personal acceptance. This part of addiction recovery holds persons in treatment to be self-accountable for their actions and life choices made while asking forgiveness of those they’ve hurt along the way.
The life one leads while immersed in active drug or alcohol abuse is filled with denial, darkness, and despair. There are many personal accounts of spiritual awakening during this time, through a thought, a feeling, or vision that brings a glimmer of personal acceptance to the forefront. This spiritual light, however cast, can open the door to acknowledging there is an addiction problem that needs to be faced and treated.
What If Spirit Can’t Be Felt
Not all who need treatment are at a place where they are able to face the truth. Even during an intervention, family members will find it difficult to accept the entire reality of the drug use, the broken family dynamic, and the damage it has caused. A sense of hopelessness invades daily life, making it difficult to have faith. This is why it’s imperative for the family be a part of the intervention, treatment, and addiction recovery process. In this view, without utilizing the benefits of spirituality, the entire family will suffer – unnecessarily.
Let’s look at the entire verse of Hosea 4:6 as an example of how drug addiction takes hold of the user and the family, and why for many, belief in a higher deity—in this case Christianity—truly brings salvation.
Lack of Knowledge Is Deeper than Intellect
Scripture provides many of the tools and teachings that can help to live a balanced, purposeful, and glorious life. Substance addiction and ignoring the existence of substance addiction go against the principles presented in Hosea 4:6.
Within the verse, my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge is not calling out the ability to take on information. It is more about the neglect of seeking information that is vital to living, which includes embracing spirituality. The lack of knowledge also refers to one’s choice to ignore or refuse the important role of spirituality, which can lead to poor life choices and circumstances.
In this view, respecting oneself through acceptance of God’s word provides a greater ability to rise above temptation through continuous belief and gracious acts of faith.
Ignorance Is Not Bliss with Addiction
Hosea 4:6 serves as a reminder for many believers that without God’s word, we cannot follow his wisdom. Without God’s word, we cannot see our own light. Without personal vision and purpose, a person is easily led down a dark path and attracted to others who will do the same. Ultimately, self-destruction is at hand.
The Sheep Mentality
When we journey down an ill-chosen path or have no defined path, the risks intensify over time. Many people of faith think it important to consider the history of people and the destruction of civilizations in the past, when faith in God shifted to other deities. They visualize a sea of people proceeding blindly in a herd, with their individuality gone.
Drug and alcohol addiction will create a sheep mentality for both the addict and the family. For the person dependent on drugs, he or she will become sheep-like, choosing to befriend others who use with the sole purpose of finding more drugs. For the family, the ability to initiate a change, though it will be painful, begins with an intervention. But many will choose to ignore the existence of the problem or hope that it will go away on its own. It won’t. In fact, this entire cycle defines lack of knowledge.
Faith-Based Recovery Lives in the Actions We Take
Hosea 4:6 reminds us to stay in faith. This has helped many throughout the drug intervention process as faith is challenged among family members throughout the recovery period.
It is through acknowledgement, acceptance, and commitment that many, those with addictive behaviors and their families, believe it possible to find the courage, strength, and support to overcome this darkness we call addiction and embrace the light of recovery.