“Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks from the water that I will give will never be thirsty again. The water that I give will become in those who drink it a spring of water that bubbles up into eternal life.” – John 4:13-14 (CEV)

Poured water knows no limits unless you place a boundary around it so that it can be contained. Poured water without limits is a lot like addiction:  living life with permeable, diffuse or with limited to no boundaries at all.  I can remember being under the influence of a chemical and saying “whatever man” many times a night to whatever drink, drug or behavior was suggested to me.  I, like many people challenged with compulsive behavior, was pretty indiscriminate with my choices.

In hindsight, I wonder why was I so thirsty all the time?  Today, I realize that I lived life with no boundaries and as a result, I could not contain or retain any of the good that was freely given to me.

God does not desire for us to live with “broken walls” where our enemy can come in and harm us (see Nehemiah 2:17 below).   He desires for us to “rebuild” the broken walls of our lives physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, relationally, etc. so that we will protect ourselves and learn to protect others who are important to us as well. Today, sobriety creates the opportunity for me to learn how to implement boundaries so that I can become a safe person who practices safe behavior around people who need to experience me being safe.

In a previous post, encouragement was offered to “stay between the lines, the lines are our friends.” With God, as we endeavor to “stay between the lines” by establishing and reinforcing our connection with Him (I John 5:2-3), we afford ourselves with the opportunity to be safe from the lion that is seeking to devour us (1 Peter 5: 8).

A positive result of creating a conscious contact with God is that I have closed the door to “whatever” and subsequently, have limited my desire to go to the well of addictive behavior seeking counterfeit replenishment.  Having boundaries and living with boundaries helps.  On the contrary, since I know what does quench my thirst today, I have some water left over to provide to a fellow travelers who also thirst. That’s a valuable life lesson that I want to retain, protect and provide today.

“So I said to them, “You see the trouble that we’re in: Jerusalem is in ruins, and its gates are destroyed by fire! Come, let’s rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we won’t continue to be in disgrace.” – Nehemiah 2:17

Feel free to leave a comment or pass this post to others who you think would like to read it and by all means visit my other page at dr ken mcgill’s blog for more helpful “counseling” information.

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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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