January 30, 2012
According to the latest statistics, tens of millions of people in the U.S. are tormented by compulsive addictions. An addict’s primary relationship is with a drug or a behavior, not with himself or anyone else. That drug or behavior is their path to the supposed relief they so desire. Our society, in large part, denies the addiction problem as treatment centers and state hospitals close, program funding is cut, and insurance reimbursement for treatment decreases. The walking wounded are therefore usually on their own to get help for themselves and their families.
Physical, spiritual, emotional, and psychological disabilities brought on by addictions are rampant. The drug environment and the impurities associated with it, namely secondary infections, also cause major damage – especially with illegal drugs. Regardless of the type of addiction, this lifestyle causes a person to be only a shadow of what God intended.
There. That’s the bad news. Now the good news. Have you ever noticed what a bad rap the word “religion” has gotten? It’s no longer regarded as the original word suggests. The Latin root of the word is “ligio,” meaning to tie or bind together. An example is a woman having her tubes tied, or a tubal ligation. To “re-ligio” means that something that was once tied became untied, and it is now re-tied or bound together again. There is no better example than the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve disobeyed God, causing the tie of perfect fellowship with God to become untied. God’s plan of salvation, through Christ’s sacrifice once and for all, re-tied us back together into relationship with God for eternity, by His grace alone. He does the work. We just need to accept His payment for our debt.
Addiction is synonymous with idolatry. When we strongly desire something as much as or more than we desire God, we have given ourselves to a false god, a weak imitation. We have become unbound from God because of our addiction. What we give our time, money, and energy to does become our god. We then become like our object of worship, a cheap imitation of what we were really meant to be. I am always amazed at what I used to pursue, and sometimes even now pursue, to soothe my discomfort. I have endured dire spiritual consequences for the sake of momentary thrills or escapes.
Today, God stands ready and willing to forgive and restore those who have been carried away by addictions. If you have an overt addiction let Him in and trust His ways, not yours. Becoming untied causes us to disintegrate, but receiving God’s gift of healing allows us to re-integrate, restoring us to what God intended us to be in the first place! If you don’t have an overt addiction, examine what you go to when you are uncomfortable. If it is God’s word and prayer, awesome. If it is anything else, then you have an addiction and need to wrestle with that. Start to look at why you turn to those other items before God. Don’t be embarrassed, just be honest. Your journey closer to God and the Mind of Christ depends on it. Life is your decision, so choose well!
Father God, You are our source and our strength, and a very present help in time of trouble. Deliver us out of the claws of addictions and addictive behaviors. We need Your supernatural strength to overcome the self-destructive effects of mood-altering chemicals and mind injuring behaviors. Heal and restore us in body, mind, and spirit to what You intended us to be. We ask this in the powerful, comforting, and re-tying name of Jesus; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
“Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1
“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of a sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.” Galatians 5:16-17