4 “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:14 – 15 (NIV)

The word addiction comes from the Latin word “ad Dictim” which literally means “to the dictator.”  When the Roman army fought against and conquered a nation, the conquered people were sent “ad dictim” or to the Dictator as slaves, having lost all personal rights to be free and were made to live in bondage in service to the Emperor.  Usually, the people died in their captivity.

Many of us who are addicted to drugs or some form of compulsive behavior can identify with the feelings of being trapped, being in a hopeless situation and serving the Dictator, who is anything but benevolent to us.  However, today, we have a choice.  Joshua knew this and asked the people who were led out of captivity from Egypt, “Do we want to serve the God our forefathers served?”  He did not, and he reminded the listeners that they had a choice.  He made his and he implored them to make a choice as well.

If we choose to remain in the harsh bondage of compulsive or addictive behavior, we may find ourselves practicing out of control behavior, experiencing pain, hurt, hopelessness and a very dark future (Proverbs 4:19).  However, Jesus reminds us in Matthew 11:28 – 30 (below), that if we wish to “relax the strings” (anapausis or our English word “rest” v. 28) that resemble a noose around our neck, then He bids us to come to Him.  We don’t have to let compulsive behavior dictate choices for us.  On the contrary, there is a way out of the unenviable bondage of addiction, however, the choice is yours.  Make a choice today and choose soberly.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 

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About Dr Ken McGill

Dr. Ken McGill is an ordained minister and has been involved in counseling for more than 25 years. Dr. McGill holds a Bachelor's degree in Religion from Pacific Christian College (now Hope International University), a Certificate of Completion in the Alcohol and Drug Studies/Counseling Program from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. Dr. McGill received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Family Psychology from Azusa Pacific University in May, 2003. Dr. McGill's dissertation focused on the development of an integrated treatment program for the sexually addicted homeless population, and Ken was "personally mentored" by dissertation committee member Dr. Patrick Carnes, a pioneer in the field of sex addiction work. Dr. McGill authored a chapter in the text The Clinical Management of Sex Addiction, with his chapter addressing the homeless and sex addiction. Dr. McGill is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the States of Texas and California and Mississippi, and is a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, through the International Institute for Trauma and Addictive Professionals (IITAP). Dr. McGill had a private practice in Glendora, CA (Aspen Counseling Center), Inglewood, CA (Faithful Central Bible Church), and Hattiesburg, MS (River of Life Church), specializing in the following areas with individuals, couples, families, groups and psychoeducational training: addictions and recovery, pre-marital, marital and family counseling, issues related to traumatization and abuse, as well as depression, grief, loss, anger management and men's and women's issues. Dr. McGill also provided psychotherapeutic treatment with Student-Athletes on the University of Southern Mississippi Football and Men's Basketball teams. Dr. McGill served as the Director of the Gentle Path Program, which is a seven-week residential program, for people who are challenged with sexual addiction, sexual anorexia, and relationship issues. Dr. McGill also supervised Doctoral students in the Southern Mississippi Psychology Internship Consortium with the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. McGill was inducted into the Azusa Pacific University Academic Hall of Honor, School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences, in October, 2010. Dr. McGill currently works as a Private practice clinician with an office in Plano, Texas, providing treatment with people who are challenged in the areas mentioned above.

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