top of page

Vices or Virtues? Defining the Line that Separates Our Behaviors

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

When you hear or read the word addict who do you picture? What do you picture? Maybe you see a room full of people sitting in a circle, talking about their lives and addictions. Maybe you picture a loved one or friend who is having a difficult time. While these are likely, accurate, and common occurrences within addictions, I highly doubt you pictured yourself. Now you are probably thinking, “Ryan, I am not an addict.”. To that I say, we are ALL addicts; it's just a matter of knowing and accepting what we are addicted to.

There are two kinds of addictions: substance and behavioral. Substance addiction, which is what you likely pictured at the beginning of this article, is the reliance on substances, such as a variety of drugs, alcohol, or nicotine products that affect us in a biologically direct way. Behavioral addictions are what I am accusing us all of having. It can be any behavior that we are compelled to do no matter the consequences. Common behaviors observed in addiction studies are gambling, pornography, video games, social media, eating, exercising, shopping, attention seeking, and working. That is only to name a few, but the list goes on and on.

Alarming information and statistics:

Video games can cause withdrawal symptoms such as: cravings, impatience, lack of pleasure, irritability/anger, anxiousness/tenseness (Giordano et al., 2020).

Popular pornography sites log 92 million viewers a day (Pornhub Insights, 2018).

The most popular way of viewing pornography is viewing free content on smartphones/devices (Herbenick et al., 2020).

56% of high school students have viewed pornography in the last year - 78% male & 41% female (Maheaux et al., 2021).

100% of studied adolescents had a social media account and 80% reported checking social media once a day (Giordano, et al., 2022).

Over 80% of Americans gamble on a yearly basis, while 3-5 out of every 100 struggles with a gambling addiction (, 2023).

Up to 750,000 young people between the ages of 14 and 21 have a gambling addiction (, 2023).

Up to 15% of Americans reported being addicted to the way they feel when shopping (Eng, 2010).

I hope these alarming statistics got your attention as they did mine. The point of this article is to highlight the rarely spoken truth about behavioral addictions and their prevalence in our society. While most of the listed addictions have been around for decades, the ease of access to technology has increased them drastically, while our focus on them has barely shifted. I have recently noticed a pattern while counseling a multitude of clients. Each person that I talk to has a behavioral pattern or addiction that either affects or is caused by their root issues. An example that most of us can relate to is that many clients of mine have experienced feelings of boredom or being unmotivated. Each of these clients has also expressed that, during these spells, they catch themselves on their phones, using some form of entertainment for hours at a time. This shows us that underlying internal factors that cause us to lose motivation, results in negative patterns, addictions, and coping skills.

How many of you have complained about the negative effects of social media, but check it every day? Compulsivity is a symptom we can recognize to help identify our own addictions. While we may first engage in a behavior from hedonistic tendencies, repeated engagement will often create a compulsion to participate in the behavior when triggered by people, places, or internal states (Hyoun & Hodgins, 2018). In other words, a behavioral addiction. In addition to Compulsion, there are three other ways that we can identify addiction in our own behaviors: Craving, Control, and Consequence. All four of these identifiers are what counselors call The 4 C’s of Addiction. If any “C” applies to a behavior you participate in, it is more likely than not, an addiction.

Addictions should not have to be life ruining to get our attention. Sometimes small behavioral addictions can answer questions about small conflicts we have in our life. Checking social media every day isn’t crumbling lives by the millions, but it does contribute to procrastination, motivation issues, and body image issues. And yes, sometimes you may just have a habit and there are no consequences for it. The four C’s help us determine if a behavior is an addiction or just high involvement in a behavior.

I do not want you to read this article believing everything you do regularly is an addiction. Participating in something daily or often does not automatically make it an issue in our lives. Someone who exercises or reads everyday would be seen as participating in good habits. It is only when applying the C’s: reflecting and understanding if our own behaviors are compulsive, craved, or possibly causing consequences, that we can begin to acknowledge addictive behaviors we regularly participate in. If you read every day, I’ll tell you it is a good habit. If reading every day is being prioritized over more important things in your life, such as spending time with your family, I would tell you that you have an addiction. 

How do we change it? The first step of fighting any addiction is to identify and accept we have a problem. Of course, I would suggest you process through addictions with a professional counselor. However, being mindful of our own behavior is the reflection I am asking the reader to make. If we do not confront our own behavioral addictions, how can we expect society to fix these ever-growing problems? Society is not a thing we can blame everything on. WE are society, and until we decide to be reflective and change ourselves, society cannot and will not change.


Presented by Con Carpet Tile + Design

Thursday, September 21, 2023 @ 7:30am

Adams Pointe Golf Club, 1601 RD Mize Rd, Blue Springs, MO


Who’s ready for some golf weather? I know we are! Sponsorships and registrations open TODAY! Go ahead and get your teams together, sign your company up for a sponsorship, and block the date on your calendar. All golf proceeds help provide affordable counseling to the families in our community. As a bonus, you know you’ll get an amazing lunch from Zarda and a killer swag bag!


  • Team Registration – 4 Person ($700)

  • Individual Team Registration ($175): Playing on a team but paying fees individually.

  • Individual Player Registration ($200): Individual golfer, not yet on a team. Will be placed on a team prior to event.


  • Presenting Sponsor ($15,000): Prominent logo placement on all event materials, welcome banner, and stand-alone sponsor banner; name included as presenter on all written materials; logo placed on gift bag; private speaking engagement with Dr. Jon Thompson; 2 foursomes included

  • Platinum Sponsor ($10,000): Prominent logo placement on all event materials & signage; exclusive logoed golfer gift item; 2 foursomes included

  • Gold Sponsor ($5,000): Exclusive logoed golfer gift item; prominent signage at event & logo on website; 1 foursome included

  • Silver Sponsor ($3,000): Logo placed on souvenir gift bag; logo on sponsor banner & website; 1 foursome included

  • Cart Sponsor ($1,000): Logo included on both beverage carts (2), cart corral area, and on sponsor banner

  • Premium Hole Sponsor ($250): Sign with logo at designated hole; option to handout giveaways at hole; ability to include promotional item in gift bag

To contact our Director of Development, Naomi Thompson, call: 816.272.0653 or email:


Are you a gift giver? Do you enjoy making a gift basket that will bring a smile to someone’s face? We are looking for a few more items, bundles, and baskets to include in this year’s golf raffle and silent auction. Some popular items are: gift cards, lawn care bundle, movie night basket, date night bundles, etc. If you can help in this way, please contact Naomi ( or 816.272.0653) by September 8th.


We’re looking for a few more volunteers to join us for our golf tournament on Thursday, September 21st. If you can help that day, please reach out to Naomi - or 816.272.0653.


This year as we start a new school year working with a new group of students, we pause to express our thanks to each of you who have joined arms with us to provide hope and peace to a hurting world. Your selfless acts of giving, praying, and volunteering make it possible for us to reach countless families. With an abundance of gratitude, we offer our thanks.

  • Thank you, Midwest Land Group and the whole Heartland Bowhunter and Heartland Waterfowl Teams for raising funds with us to grow our In-School Counseling Program. Because of your donation we are able to reach students in a new partner school this year. You guys rock!

  • We are so blessed by you, Don & Linda Pearce. Thank you for your heart to help the children in our community. We value your friendship and support.

  • Thank you to our 7th Annual Golf Classic Sponsors – Midwest Ministers' Fellowship, Christy Yager – Edward Jones, Jacob Sanders – Heritage Companies, Cheryl Julo – Reece Nichols, Max Motors, and Metcalf Auto Plaza. We are so grateful for your sponsorship each year to enable the families in the community to seek help.

  • We are happy to have the teams of Bud Beasley, Church at Coffee Creek, Curtis Beasley, Boyle’s Famous Corned Beef, Wes Bird, The Cigar Room, US Foods, Mike Horsley, EPR Properties, Hill Pro-Motion Physical Therapy, Pepsi, Hy-Vee, 810 Sports, and Brian Rookstool joining us for our 7th Annual Golf Classic. Thank you for your golf registration.

To all of our faithful monthly and recurring supporters — THANK YOU from our Peace Partnership team! – Stone AMP SEO, Jeff & Lacey Cherry, Carolyn Eldridge, Zane & Melissa Morerod, Mark McDonald, Jondy & Heather Britton, Matt & Kristy Newton, Clayton & Pam Wooldridge, Mark & Cathy McGaughey, Greg & Jennifer Spears, Roger & Jennifer Madsen, Brent & Amanda Miller, Mike & Jan McGraw, Midwest Accident Reconstruction Services, Stan & Deb Oglesby, Willie & Adia Valdes, Linda Hartman, Dave & Rosie Bourland, Rudy & Stacy Blahnik, Mike & Tracy Pruitt, Sandra King, Diane Smith, Dan & Gigi Rippee, Andre & Rose Fantasma, Kevin Quinn, Scott & Lydia Hurley, Jon & Naomi Thompson, John & Keshia Otradovec, Tamara Stroud, Rick & Kathy Daulton, Church at Coffee Creek, John & Vicki Hefner, Cory & Leslie Young, Jenny Glasgow, Teddy Koehler, Summit Springs Church, Brandon & Vanessa Blanchard, and Rick & Jan Britton.

We appreciate each and every one of you!

Are there ways that you can help us grow? Contact our Director of Development, Naomi Thompson, at: 816.272.0653 or to find out how you can join our team of Partners. To make a donation through our website, please click on the link below.


Because of your donations, we have added Blackburn Elementary as our 6th partner school. Thank you for investing in the lives of these students we will meet for the first time on Tuesday! Please pray for Blackburn, Randall, and William Southern in Independence and Chapel Lakes, Franklin Smith, and Voy Spears in Blue Springs. We are looking forward to working with the students and school staff to create a fantastic school year together.

If you would like to give to this program, click here and write In-School Program in the Comments.


Have you or someone you know been helped by Peace Partnership or Genesis Counseling? If so, would you please consider paying it forward to help another find healing along their journey? We are asking anyone who is not currently partnering with us financially to consider donating $100/year for the next 3 years to help make a difference in someone else’s life. Collectively, we can help SO MANY PEOPLE! Please consider a gift today. Call the office for help getting your gift set up or choose a recurring donation on our website here. We are so grateful for your help changing lives!

38 views0 comments


bottom of page