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THE OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE CHARACTER DISORDER

For years, Alcoholics Anonymous has noted that one of ten people who use alcohol will abuse it. Except for noting that the problem seems to follow family lines, there is no adequate explanation for why this genetic pre-disposition toward alcohol abuse occurs. The abuse seems to follow a genetically inherited pre-disposition that psychology refers to as a “character disorder.”
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychology (DSM-IV-R) calls character disorders as the “enduring patterns of relating to, perceiving and thinking about the environment and oneself. They are long standing habits of thought and behavior that have been with a person since childhood or adolescence.” Character disorders are the results of BOTH genetics and Behavioral training by the role models in a person’s environment.
God’s Word says in Exodus 20:5b, “. . .For I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”
There is a clear Biblical record that physical and psychological traits are passed through the genes. The primary character disorder that we find in the alcohol dysfunctional family system is the Obsessive/Compulsive Character Disorder. Here is a list of the traits and how they operate.

OB S E S S I V E / C O M P U L S I V E
1. Rage /1. Fear
2. Defiance /2 .Obedience
3. Emotional /3. Intellectual
4. Out-of-Power / Control 4. In-Power/Control
5. Non-Perfectionistic /5. Perfectionistic
6. Non-Completion /6. Completion
7. Relational /7. Non-Relational
8. Impulsive /8. Controlled
9. Under-Strict Conscience /9. Over-Strict Conscience
10. Unfocused /10. Focused
11. Disorderly /11. Orderly
12. Negligence /12. Conscientious
13. Helpless /13. Powerful
14. Flexible /14. Inflexible
15. Laid Back Worker /15. Hard Worker
16. Unreliable /16. Reliable
17. Easy-Going /17. Stubborn
18. Non-Judgmental /18. Critical
19. Passive /19. Dominant
20. Indecisive /20. Decisive

These TWO character disorders exist in the alcoholic-abuse people at the same time.
They are literally born onto the planet in great distress.
They are naturally inclined toward depression. Frank Minirth and Paul Meir in their book, "Happiness is a Choice" see the Obsessive/Compulsive personality disorder as one of the two most common disorders that pastors treat in pastoral counseling.
The challenge of the equipping ministry of Jesus Christ is to lead these people to know Jesus Christ as their Higher Power. After that, I recommend a recovery (restoration) 12-Step Personal Growth Support Group and intensive initial psycho-spiritual therapy to get them onto Christ's path of healing.
The church family has to literally become a healthy family in order for these people to come into wholeness. Another challenge for the church is for them to become relationally more healthy than their families of origin. If the church isn't a place of healing relationships and discipleship, then it will simply replicate the unhealthiness that these people have experienced in their respective families of origin.

To get these people into long-range recovery, I recommend:

a. ACTIVE LISTENING - Skilled listeners are needed to help Obsessive/Compulsive people to understand and deal positively with their own emotions. Their emotional lives will exist on a parallel with their spiritual lives.

b. ASSERTIVENESS TRAINING - Obsessive / Compulsive people need to be trained and equipped to be “immediate” with their emotions and feelings with one another. Poor boundaries and passive/aggressive behavior must end. Ephesians Four in scripture calls it, “Speaking the truth in love.”

c. COMMUNICATION - Non-verbal rituals and indirect communication exchanges must end. Unhealthy expectations of one another must end and people must be released to be who they are.

d. RELEASING ONE ANOTHER - Jesus came to preach to and to release captives. Control and manipulation must be given over to the Master Controller, Jesus Christ. We must be free to become the person Jesus has created us to become.

e. CO-DEPENDENCY TRAINING - Underlying all obsessive / compulsive rituals and beliefs is that someone outside of themselves will help them with their struggles. Obsessive/Compulsives must be brought to understand what Jesus taught, “The Kingdom of God is within you.” Peace and happiness are not found in an unhealthy addiction to and need for another person. Peace is finding and making the spiritual connection of Jesus Christ as the higher power and allowing Him to rule in all the issues of life.
Courtesy of Sheepfold Ministries, Sharon, PA
Rev. Phil Roland, 1999