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Bible Study: The Addictive Personality

This four-part Bible study presents analysis of prominent Bible characters, their lifestyles, and what they can teach us about addiction and addictive personalities. Use this study to show your youth the historical and present reality of God's grace in healing all wounds, deep and shallow, through the redeeming sacrifice of Christ Jesus. 
Topics: Addictions, Biblical Case Studies
You can download a PDF version of this study HERE. If you use it, let us know in the comments!
Leader's Guide
Purpose of This Study
 Through these four lessons we will look at various characters in the Bible and what they can teach us about addictive personalities and behaviors. Each week there are suggested sections for individual or small group work and sections for whole group discussion.
Introduction & Session One
Addicted to Grumbling - We'll start out with a quick quiz (below) to highlight some addictive behaviors and then look at the story of the Israelites and their complaining. Before you teach this lesson, take a few minutes to consider its message for your own life, especially concerning your role as Bible study leader or youth director. Grumbling is an addiction that every person involved in youth work must battle. What recent situations with your group have caused you to grumble? About whom do you complain? To whom do you grumble? Spend a few minutes laying your complaints before the Lord in prayer. Ask for changes in these situations, but also ask for changes in your own heart as you battle with the addiction of grumbling.
Session Two
 Addicted to Getting Even - This week we will review the story of Saul and David. In youth work, there are certainly times when people unjustly accuse you of leading the youth group or a particular youth down the wrong path. You might even be convinced that someone has put a price on your head! Have you ever been tempted to get even by excluding their kid from an event? Getting even feels so good when someone does something totally wrong and you did nothing to deserve it. Take some time to consider situations in your life and youth ministry in which you got even. Offer any present opportunities to get even to our loving Savior who cried out on the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34).
Before jumping into the Bible study, tell a story of a time in your own life when someone did something hurtful to you, and you got revenge. What did this do to your relationship with this person? What did it do to you? How did it get resolved? Share something real with your youth, something that you really struggled with. Your opening up about getting even will get their minds going about tough stuff in their own lives. You may want to offer this analogy. Trying to get even is like taking a loaded shot-gun, pointing it at your head, pulling the trigger and hoping your enemy is hurt from the recoil. How smart is this?
Session Three
Addicted to Grudges - We'll look at the up and down relationship between Jacob and Esau this week. As we'll see in this Bible study, holding a grudge means holding on to memories of bad times. Are there perhaps bad memories of past events in your youth work that you have held on to? How do these affect how you interact with your youth now? Has anyone in the current group done something that has lingered in your memory? Take a few moments and confess those lingering memories, those grudges to the Lord who Himself forgives our sins and remembers them no more.
Session Four
 Addicted to Always Trying to Please the Opposite Sex (Giving In) - Samson and Delilah offer some practical examples this week. Desiring the opposite sex is not a sin in and of itself. Certainly every teenager begins at some point to long for companionship from opposite sex. However, cute puppy love somewhere crosses the line and can get very painful. This Bible study may open up some wounds. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, be ready to deal with a topic with which a lot of your kids are most likely struggling. Many teenage relationships go through these four phases: Rush them, Mush them, Crush them, Flush them.

Reed Lessing
Reed Lessing was born and raised in Denver, CO.  His formal academic degrees include a B.A., M.Div., S.T.M. and Ph.D. Reed was ordained into the Office of the Public Ministry on June 29, 1986 at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, West Monroe, LA.  He served as the church’s pastor until March 11, 1990.  From March 25, 1990 to August 16, 1999 he was the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Broken Arrow, OK.  During that time he served the Oklahoma District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod as Secretary, Circuit Counselor and Second Vice-President.  On Sept. 4th, 1999 he was installed as Assistant Professor of Exegetical Theology at Concordia Seminary.  In May of 2005 he was advanced to the rank of Associate Professor.  Reed is the author of numerous journal articles, sermon studies and a CTCR document and Bible Study entitled, “A Lutheran Response to the Left Behind Series.”  His books include Interpreting Discontinuity: Isaiah’s Tyre Oracle (Eisenbrauns, 2004), Jonah (CPH, 2007) and Amos (CPH, forthcoming in 2008). He is married to Lisa (nee) Radke and their marriage has been blessed with three children: Abi (21), Jonathan (18) and Lori (14).
Comments / Reviews:
I seem to be missing something with this Bible Study...Napoleon Dynamite? Is this referring to a movie?

Please help with this missing information as I would really like to use this bible study with my youth.

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