Finding balance in life is important to all of us. Many are struggling in their life and do not understand that the underlying reason is lack of balance. These individuals realize that something is not right or they think that for some reason they are not “hitting on all cylinders.” They should be cruising along in life at 70MPH accomplishing many tasks for the Lord but instead they find themselves “puttering” along at 35MPH barely getting anything done. The reason is lack of balance.
I see imbalance all day long in my medical practice. Patients come in throughout the day complaining of all types of physical and emotional problems and/or pain. Most often no definitive reason for their problem is identified even after an exhaustive work-up is performed. It boils down to a lack of balance in their life. This lack of balance is being manifested in their physical body and in their emotional (soulical) realm of life.
You can somewhat understand the lack of balance when it comes to those individuals who do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. There is absolutely no way for them to achieve total balance in their life because they are spiritually dead. Many of these individuals find themselves depressed and/or anxious because they cannot make sense of the world around them. They do not have a biblical world outlook so everything looks like it is falling apart. This leads them to have an enormous amount of uncertainty and fear in their life often leading them to depression and/or anxiety. They are not at rest in their soul which then manifests itself in many emotional problems and even with many physical complaints. Balance for these individuals’ starts when they accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
As I meet many Christians in my journeys, I find that many of them are living their lives out of balance and are suffering the painful consequences. These are good people that desire to serve their Savior, but have allowed a lack of balance to basically derail their life. Instead of enjoying the abundant life that Jesus talks about in John 10:10, they are just trying to survive life.”
Unfortunately, I also see a lack of balance in the lives of many Christians that I meet. I have the tremendous honor and privilege to represent the Reformers Unanimous Addictions Ministry as I travel across our nation and Canada preaching and teaching about the wonderful freedom available through Jesus Christ. As I meet many Christians in my journeys, I find that many of them are living their lives out of balance and are suffering the painful consequences. These are good people that desire to serve their Savior, but have allowed a lack of balance to basically derail their life. Instead of enjoying the abundant life that Jesus talks about in John 10:10, they are just trying to survive life. Before we become too critical of these people, we must realize that a lack of balance can transpire in all of our lives if we fail to continually submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit of God.
In light of what I have written above, including all of the encounters I have had with people that are manifesting symptoms of an imbalanced life in their body and emotions (soul), God lead me to write a book called, “Finding Balance in Life – Correcting Imbalance in our Spirit, Soul, and Body.” This book demonstrates the ease in which imbalance can take over any of our lives and cause significant damage. The book goes on to address how we as Christians can regain balance in our lives which will make us the most effective workman for our Heavenly Father. In the remaining part of this article, I would like to touch on one of the four foundational truths that God gives us in His Word that will help us restore balance. All four truths are detailed in the book, but I would like to concentrate on contentment.
When Jesus talked to the disciples before the crucifixion, Jesus gave no indication that His followers should expect wealth, beauty, economic security, or acclaim. He never promised freedom from suffering, persecution, sickness, discouragement, vocational uncertainty, or financial strain – but He did promise peace. Jesus told us in John 14:27 that He would give us peace – peace of mind and heart. He went on to say, “my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Several years later, during one of his times in prison, Paul mentioned his contentment despite the unpleasant circumstances. In a setting that could have stimulated intense anxiety, discouragement, self-pity, and even anger at God, the apostle instead encouraged his fellow believers to rejoice regardless of the circumstances and to experience the peace of God: “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4.) Paul went on to say, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4: 6-7.)
Reformers Unanimous can have a variety of goals, but at its core is the effort to help people find peace with God, peace with others, and peace with themselves. Sometimes, this peace comes closer when people admit their problems and talk about their feelings, acquire better interpersonal and communication skills, change their attitudes and control harmful thought patterns, get insight into their own actions, and learn how to change their ways of doing things – this is all done through the leadership and power of the Holy Spirit of God.
Ultimate peace for all of us comes from God. It comes to those who cast their cares or anxieties on the Lord, present their requests to God with prayer and thanksgiving, let their minds dwell on thoughts that are pure and Christ honoring, resist satanic influences, and live in ways that would please Christ. Lasting peace comes from the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, often as we meditate on the Word of God and seek to do His will.
This life of peace and contentment will facilitate balance in all of us.
Codependency and addiction can be a difficult concept to grasp. It is evident in most of our lives, especially those in the ministry, in one form or another. Codependency is a faulty, unhealthy coping mechanism that is devastating churches, ministries, families, and our personal lives spiritually, soulically, and physically.
Codependency is the excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically one who requires support on account of an illness or addiction. 1
Codependency in all practical terms is when an individual is addicted to another individual. This can occur in several different ways as Bro. Burks and I discuss in-depth in our new book called, “Codependency: The Help That Hurts.”
In our opinion, there are two main forms of codependency. The first is called the codependent-dependent. This is an individual that is basically being controlled by another person. The second form of codependency is called the codependent-independent. This is an individual that is attempting to control others. The codependent-independent is also the type of person that is always coming to the rescue of others. They are always looking for “drama” or a crisis so that they may intervene and be the “hero” or “rescuer.” This individual must realize that they are not the Savior of the world; that position belongs to Jesus!
Codependency and addiction can also be looked at as a shifting of our focus from God to someone or something else. This is clearly seen in Romans 1:25 where the Bible says, “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever, Amen.” In this verse, we see that the individual is focusing on someone or something else besides the Creator. No matter where we may find ourselves in life our focus, our passion, or our worship should be directed at our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Codependency and addiction is a constant spiritual battle in which we are engaged moment by moment. The battle is between us “walking after the flesh” (which is codependency) or “walking in the Spirit.”
Codependent behavior is seen throughout the Bible. As we will detail in our book, codependency can be found in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
No matter how prevalent codependent behavior may be in our society, there is a way to live in a healthy relationship with others. This healthy relationship pattern is outlined for us in the Word of God. By following the Bible, we can have healthy relationships with others while being totally dependent upon God.
Join Bro. Burks and me as we explore this topic of codependency and addiction in light of the Scriptures in “Codependency: The Help That Hurts.”. May we find ourselves totally dependent upon God as we step out by faith as guided by the Holy Spirit of God to help restore brothers and sisters in Christ and lead lost sinners to the saving knowledge of the only Savior, Jesus Christ.
Ibogaine (12-Methoxyibogamine) is a naturally occurring psychoactive substance found in a number of plants, principally in a member of the Apocynaceae family known as iboga. In recent times, it has been identified as having anti-addictive properties. It is a highly controlled substance in the United States. It is classified by the FDA as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it is not available to the general public. Anyone legally seeking this drug would have to travel to one of the countries where it is available, such as Canada.
Ibogaine is thought to interrupt addiction to methadone, heroin, other opiates, alcohol, methamphetamine, and cocaine. The most studied therapeutic effect of ibogaine is the reduction or elimination of addiction to opioids. An integral effect is the alleviation of symptoms of opioid withdrawal by its action on the kappa and mu opioid receptors in the brain. It has an aspect of an opiate replacement similar to compounds like methadone (this is distinctly different from Suboxone treatment.) It can only be used briefly because of its significant side effect profile. Thus, it is always linked to a “rapid detox program.” It also appears to act as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor like many of the newer anti-depressants on the market today (like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro, etc.)
Ibogaine is not the “magic pill” everyone is looking for. The programs that use ibogaine as part of their “rapid detox program” also recommend “intensive counseling, therapy and aftercare treatment” which they classify as having “significant value” in the person’s overall program. They go on to say “some individuals require a second or third treatment session with ibogaine over the course of the next 12-18 months.” They also go on to say, “A minority of individuals relapse completely into opiate addiction within days to weeks.” So ibogaine is a drug treatment that must be used over a short period of time because of its side effect profile, and the individual must have extensive counseling and follow up aftercare for there to be any chance of continued sobriety.
The side effect profile is huge, thus the risk of taking the drug is enormous. The side effects of taking ibogaine are as follows:
#1 Sensation of fear
#2 Temporary short-term memory impairment
#3 Ataxia (difficulty standing or walking)
#4 Xerostomia (dry mouth)
#5 Nausea and vomiting
#6 Cardiac arrhythmias (atrial & ventricular – some potentially fatal)
#7 Brain damage
The drug also shows adverse interaction with some heart conditions and psychiatric medications are strongly contraindicated. There are 12 documented fatalities associated with ibogaine ingestion. Grapefruit juice cannot be taken before, during or immediately after ibogaine treatment because of adverse side effects.
At this time I CANNOT recommend the use of ibogaine as a “rapid detox” drug. The risks are too high including brain damage and even death. There are other alternatives available that are significantly safer and more effective.
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