PROVERBS 18 – 7/2/21

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“A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;

He rages against all wise judgment.”

Pr. 18:1

A man’s greatest fears in life are pain (physical and emotional) and death. Today’s passage packs powerful psychological truth. It paints a picture that well describes David Eckman’s ( of the wonderful ministry – Becoming What God Intended) Addiction Cycle. That theory posits that all addiction starts with unresolved pain.

In our lives, we all have desires or preferences also known as lusts (Heb. Ta’avah). Desire/lust is not necessarily sinful. The word itself is neutral, merely referring to a longing. If our desire is not fulfilled, we feel some degree of pain (It could be increased hunger, disappointment, loneliness, etc.) If we are raised in emotionally healthy homes, when we experience pain, we generally go to a loved one who either alleviates the pain or comforts us.

There are numerous ways to comfort the person due to the unfulfilled desire:

  • Meet the desire if we can/remove the source of pain.
  • Tend to any resulting wounds.
  • Acknowledge the pain.
  • Lovingly apologize or console.
  • If practical, give assurance that perhaps their desire will be fulfilled at another time.
  • Offer an explanation as to why it would not work.
  • Offer an option.
  • Check in later to see how their heart is doing and offer more comfort as needed, etc.
  • Offer to be a resource in the future.

This leads us to reexperience the warmth of relationship and restoration/ reconciliation.

If the pain is not attended to and/or not resolved, the tendency of human nature is to isolate or disassociate oneself from the source of pain. We may also disassociate from those around us who could prevent the pain but do not. To isolate, (Heb. parad), means to divide, to separate, to sunder. It paints a word picture of being out of joint. Ouch!

Another version of the KJV says, “Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.”

Pain and disassociation are the groundwork for addiction and/or hang-ups.

Please read that again. If we eradicated that, all counselors would be out of work within a week. How functional is the shoulder above? Note that it does not have to be very far out of joint to render the owner immobile. We must be so mindful of pain. It is the “little things” that cripple us if they are not attended to. Imagine what happens to that shoulder if we do not attend to it or if it is repeatedly injured.

So it is with our souls. I’ve created the visual below to outline Dr Eckman’s Addiction Cycle.

The Addiction Cycle

Once we disassociate, we escape to a fantasy world which is the widest and surest portal to addiction. Unfortunately, most addiction work is focused on the blue circle. I believe that if we focused on the pain, disassociation and fantasy world, we would save a lot of time, heartache, and headache.

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