It's possible God helped, even indirectly. Perhaps He knew you would come to a stage of maturity where you could realise that you are the one in control of your environment and not it over you.
This is ultimately a deception we play on ourselves, we tell ourselves things like, "I am not in control of this", or, "I just can't help it", or, " I just need a drink real bad today".
Did you need a drink real bad on the 2nd day after your birth? Could you help it before you became an alcoholic? Were you in control of alcoholism before you became an addict?
Yes, you were, meaning that logically you can be in control of it again, as you now are.
I think personally (not that I am any expert) that these new positive thoughts you are having are good, because it seems you are feeling the benefits of health.
So now if you have a bad day and tell yourself, "I can't resist today", really I don't see how you can pass off that deception by fooling yourself because you are LIVING PROOF that YOU are in control.
It's good for you to remember the benefits of being free from it, and all of this positivity you now have because I doubt you would feel like that if you were addicted.
(I'm not trying to play the know it all, I have my own problems, really I am just repeating what a psychologist told me, about how we deceive ourselves into thinking we can't resist X. An absurd deception really. Another example is when we say, "I just can't stand this anymore". How stupid we are! For we have been standing it up until now, for we are still alive! You are standing it right now, and have been for years.
I wouldn't claim it was, "hocus pocus" Phat, I am not some kind of anti-theistic pagan that thinks crystals will heal you, you know.
Don't fall for the stereotype of creationists, the chances are I am the one to first look for a natural explanation before many people do. In fact my sister thought a ghost video was genuine recently and I told her my belief was that the objects being moved were "out of camera shot" meaning they were likely being pushed by someone, and it was all a little too perfect. She was pretty upset with me for my explanations of the video, but later on she had to admit I had deduced pretty much every stunt's natural cause, correctly. I think stone cold facts, ARE MIRACULOUS even if they are not supernatural. That is to say, when you look at an X-ray of your brain, it is the brain that is miraculous, even though it is made from natural substance, in that as a design it is the most sophisticated computer ever invented.
But I don't think the miraculous is, "hocus pocus" either if you are alluding to that, for as Christians we do believe God has omnipotence and can do the miraculously impossible. For example, when He raised Christ from the dead. Yes, we believe this by faith, but that is okay to admit. I don't feel any great need to prostrate myself before those who use, "science" as an all-powerful epithet, when a lot of the time their own knowledge of science is highly amateur and they only appeal to the word so as to associate themselves with it's authority. (ad verecundiam) To me science is just a word, like, "maths" or, "english". A tool that has a use.
But when you start using hammers to murder, I don't blame the tool Phat, I blame the one wielding it as a weapon. (abuse).
I believe that God definitely helped. He gave me discernment to discriminate among the wisdom of the world and the desires and beliefs of my heart. It was I who had to decide on the narrow path which is emotionally painful...the path of sobriety. I also had to reject the broad easy path of feeding my carnal nature what it desires on a daily basis. Much of the modern world follows this broad easy path.
That's good. All I am saying is that ultimately we are in control of ourselves. Ultimately a bottle of beer isn't going to put itself into your mouth and make you drink it.
But I am not saying your "science" is wrong anyway, I am sure those things are based on scientific study, I'm fine with that.
I can joyfully report that yesterday, after 5 months to the day... I was offered my job back! ! (Settlement meeting between Safeway and Local 7 after two previous steps had been denied)And yes...I attribute this to God. Perhaps a skeptic could say that logically it could be for other reasons, but my personal belief is that God was involved in blessing me and equipping me with wisdom.
And I think that is a wonderful testimony and I am very happy for you Phat. I know what you mean about, "attributing it to God". I do that when I even know that sometimes I could be wrong.
I myself attribute good things to God but I know sometimes I can be mistaken because of confirmation-bias. Sometimes I will thank God for X, then X will change, and become a curse, which means it can't have been from God.
There is no way to differentiate, but as believers I think it's okay to attribute things to God.
I remember a long time ago now, when I was on benefits as I had no job, they said to me, "no, you don't qualify for benefit." I remember tearing up the piece of paper and saying, "I don't rely on you I rely on God" and then God very quickly provided finance for me in a way so uncannily out-of-the-blue, from a source you just couldn't imagine and a fiction writer couldn't have invented.
So I definitely believe if we act by faith and we basically believe and walk by faith that God does reward us/bless us.
Phat I don't know how busy you are but can I write you a personal message or better still could you PM me when you have time to? (there's no rush).
Perhaps a skeptic could say that logically it could be for other reasons, but my personal belief is that God was involved in blessing me and equipping me with wisdom.
Remember God often sends curses as well. Ask Pharaoh, Lot's wife and Job.
I used the wrong word when I said, "curse", but if God does allow bad....
Romans 8;28: And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, and are called according to His purpose.
I like what Joseph said when he was taken as a slave into Egypt, when he later spoke to his brothers and they thought Joseph would blame them for what they did but Joseph said, "you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good."
It's true that God can allow bad things to happen, or at least, temporarily bad things, such as with Job. But that was a test for Job, probably the only serious one he had in his life and afterward he would be glad of it, but not during.
Incredibly Joyce Meyer who was assaulted by her father, said she was almost glad it happened because of her Christian testimony. A pretty darn unbelievable thing for anyone to say, but AFTERWARD when we see how God can use bad things and turn them for good use, then it's obviously a very different perspective. For no trial seems profitable at the time of experience;
Hebrews 12:11; All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
So I didn't mean to imply that "only good things can come from God", I just meant that things that fall to pieces can't be sent by God with the intention for us to keep those things. (It's hard to explain because there are so many subtle variables to consider.) Perhaps the best way of saying it is if you ask God for a car and it breaks down then gets put on the scrapper then God can't have meant you to have that car for life but immediately when you receive the car for £1000 less that expected, it's only human to say, "Oh God, THANKYOU!" the day before it breaks down.
Edited by mike the wiz, : No reason given.
Edited by mike the wiz, : spelling errors as usual, because of fast typing. Old habit die hard.
Seeing as how my topic is about addiction, perhaps we could discuss the idea of religion as a possible addiction. At what point does belief and subsequent action become addictive rather than prescriptive?
I guess the problem with the question is the term, "religion". It seems to me any debate which uses the term, "religion" will almost be 100% destined to commit the sweeping-generalisation-fallacy, by applying general behaviour to a particular religious individual.
I guess human-reason can be an addiction. That is to say - can we get overly concerned with what WE, according to limited human reason, infer about God? If we, with our limited intellects, choose our intellect, and choose to know better than God then aren't we addicted to moulding God into our own image?
Ultimately we then become God and play God, we tell God what He is to wear today and how He is to reason and what He would do if He were here, etc...
The problem is this does not work because by definition God is omniscient and Proverbs 3 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding".
But why? Why can't we rely on human reason?
I have the answer Phat. I have an ability to reason and I can state as someone with that ability, that there is a definite limit to reason. Human-reason can only take us so far but we simply can't understand the actions of an Almighty reasoner.
For God's thoughts are like Isaiah says, "as the heavens are higher than the earth", so is His thoughts higher than our thoughts.
So when we read something confusing in the bible, God does not want us to jump to conclusions based on limited human reason, nor does He want us to mutilate the bible and doubt what He has said.
Beware the addiction of choosing a limited, subjective and fallible intellect over an all-knowing, unlimited, infallible God.
"His understanding is unsearchable".
In a game of chess who will win? The one with unsearchable understanding or the puny human, with limited abilities?
Phat if you think I'm tough to refute, what then can we say about the one who invented the atp synthase or the parabolic trajectory for the Archer fish's water arrows? The one that makes the sea anemone darts EDIBLE to sea slugs. The one that made the contraflow, two-stroke, mass-exchange lung, the one who made photosynthesis, abscission, apoptosis, and metamorphosis.
Or are you going to trust the guy that tells you Jesus is Allah, who is Father Christmas and is also a she, that doesn't exist..
For if we are to have that kind of belief, isn't that akin to believing this following description of a criminal?
"He was a bald midget, that was running completely naked through the streets wearing a leather jacket, was black, and about six foot five inches tall with long hair."
Hopefully I will ultimately trust Jesus Himself. Perhaps my question to you is this: If God could speak to a human through a donkey, can he speak to us through an atheist?
I would say IMO, (not that I am any great sage so I'm just answering because you asked) that He can speak through an atheist if what the atheist is saying is not contrary to something He has clearly said.
So for example, Galileo, if he was an atheist, was not "wrong" to say that the heavens are not orbiting the earth. (IIRC, my memory is foggy about such things).
So it depends on the what the subject is. If it is a spiritual matter, we can't listen to atheists because the NT says "nor can the natural man understand spiritual things for they are foolishness to them, for they are spiritually discerned".
That is to say, God imparts revelatory-knowledge to those who are born again of the Holy Spirit, which is not intellectually derived information.
So we have to be very careful. There are also human motives very much at play, even within science, great biases. I know an agnostic I am conversing with who can also see this, in his own words he said to me, "they're not allowing a dent in evolution".