Addictions. Let’s face it. We all have them. I know I do. I watch way too much TV, I play endless mindless games of solitaire, and I have a hard time facing a morning without my Diet Pepsi. But don’t judge me. All you football fanatics, chocoholics, coffee addicts, and whatever else some of you might be addicted to, remember, you’re just as bad as I am. As Christians, we proclaim freedom in Christ. But are we really free? How can we tell someone they can be free from alcohol, drugs, or other “serious” addictions, when we can’t even give up our own “petty” ones? If you don’t think you’re truly addicted, let me “ice bucket challenge” you to throw ice water onto your addiction and go without it for just one month. I think you’ll quickly see the truth.
When my youngest daughter was dying of cancer, doctors told her she had to give up cigarettes if she wanted to live longer. She couldn’t do it. As much as she wanted to live, the lure of that cigarette was just too strong.
But how many of us are also killing ourselves by overeating or sitting on our butts watching television when we should be out getting some exercise? We’re killing ourselves just like she did. We’re just doing it at a slower pace.
I think maybe our first step might be to recognize these as the idols they truly are. We joyfully sing, “Every high place must come down, every stronghold shall be broken,” but if we truly believe that, shouldn’t we be doing much more tearing down and breaking? Yes, I’m as guilty as anyone else. It’s easy to justify our own pet addictions. What harm does it do? Are you saying I can never enjoy anything? No. I’m not at all trying to say we can we can never enjoy any of our favorite things. That’s legalism at its worst. What I’m saying is that Jesus came to give us an abundant life, and that life is filled with all kinds of good things. But when any one thing becomes so important to us we can’t live without it on a daily or weekly basis, maybe it’s time for us to examine that thing for poison. No, not literal poison. Poison to our souls. An idol Satan can use to keep us bound. Where is our reliance? On the object, or in Christ?
Taboo Tuesday Question of the Day: What addictions do you struggle with? How has this affected your life?