by Yvonne Ortega
Licensed Professional Counselor
Licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioner
“I can’t stop thinking about having a drink, just one with a little puff of weed.” Jim sat in my office, shrugged and said. “It would be sweet.”
I raised my brows and said, “Would it?” I sat in silence for a moment, and then said, “Somehow I don’t remember that you ever stopped after one drink and one puff of weed.”
“Because I haven’t in the past doesn’t mean I can’t.” He leaned forward in his chair and held his head up as if he were a soldier off to war.
His track record in the past indicated that he couldn’t, and each time he relapsed, he got into more trouble.
“So what am I supposed to do?” Jim smirked, tapped his fingers on my desk and said, “Go to 10 meetings a day?”
An inventory of his attitude seemed appropriate. I suggested he examine his sense of entitlement. Jim admitted he had been “good” for three months, so he felt entitled to a drink and a puff of weed. I recommended other forms of reward, such as watching a movie with his family, having popcorn and playing table games with his children, or working out at the gym with the men in his Bible study.
“What about those cravings?” Jim asked with one hand on his hip. “Will they go away at the gym?”
“If you want them to.” The mind needs transformation. That’s why Paul said in Romans 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will” (NIV).
“So you’re saying I need a mind repair?”
With a laugh, I nodded. Jim did need a mind repair by the Great Physician who created his mind. The way of this world is to satisfy every whim without any thought of consequences and the effects on the lives of others. God’s way would be “good, pleasing and perfect.”
Jim took a deep breath and said, “Can that mind repair start here right now?”
With a smile and a nod, I agreed it could. I picked up my Bible and read 2 Corinthians 10:5: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (NIV).
I told Jim he would have to take captive every craving to make it obedient to Christ. “When we want our own way, we make excuses and justify what we crave.”
Jim agreed to let God do his “mind repair” and left.
2 Corinthians 10:3-4: “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (NIV).
Copyright © by Yvonne Ortega August 8, 2012
Yvonne Ortega is an eleven-year breast cancer survivor, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioner, Clinically Certified Domestic Violence Counselor, and bilingual speaker. She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer (Revell) and a contributing author to The Embrace of a Father (Bethany House) and Transformed (Wine Press). She has also been published in several magazines online and hard copy. Her website is http://www.yvonneortega.com/. Her blog on addiction and domestic violence is at http://www.yvonneortega.blogspot.com/.