“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).”
Addictions lead to physical and spiritual death. I have loved family members and friends whose lives have been destroyed by addictions. Some of them gave up hope. Others cried out for help but could find no place in their hearts for repentance and no one willing to lead them to that place.
These stories are sad; the reality of bitterness, brokenness, and separation is heartbreaking. Yet, we stand by passively and watch our loved ones die in their affliction.
You may have noticed from the “About Me” page that I love music, dance, and theater, partially because these creative ways of expression honestly depict the realities of our human experience with all of its burden and bliss. As I enjoy the arts, I also experience them through the backdrop of scripture.
One of the few television shows that I watch is So You Think You Can Dance. On one show, a choreographer designed a dance entitled, “Addiction.” In it, the male dancer was the drug that plagued the female dancer.
This powerful piece clearly displays truths from scripture, that we have a powerful adversary in the devil. I thank God, however, that the truth does not end there!
The devil is not God’s opposite, in that he is not as equally evil as God is good. God is far greater than the devil, and because of the Holy Spirit which lives inside of us, we have the ability to overcome the devil.
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering (1 Peter 5:8-9).”
The devil is a liar. He speaks to the heart of the addicted person: “You are alone. No one cares. Nobody understands your situation.” His goal is to isolate them, but the above scripture speaks truth against those lies. We all suffer and struggle, and we are strengthened when we stand together.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I [Jesus speaking] have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10).”
The devil wants addicted people to give up, but Jesus promises that we can have abundant lives in him. We most certainly have much to look forward to in Heaven, but we can live in joy and peace here on earth!
While it may be easy to point fingers and conclude, “I am not a drug addict and I don’t abuse alcohol so addiction does not apply to me.”
The Apostle Paul reminds us that we are all slaves. The true question is whether we are slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness:
“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death or to obedience, which leads to righteousness (Romans 6:16).”
We are to live in righteousness by entrusting all of our lives to Jesus. At times, we all have nursed idols or counterfeit gods in our hearts. We have placed our own wants and desires above what God considers righteous. We all sin.
We need to make a connection between what we know and profess to as truth, and how we live our lives. Our theology (what we know about God through the truth revealed in his Holy Bible) is faulty if it is not practically applied in our day-to-day operations.
“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse—the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known (Deuteronomy 11:26-28).”
What does it mean for you to choose life daily? Are you aware of the idols in your heart, the areas where you are prone to sin against God?
Are you sensitive to those who struggle with addiction? How can we journey with them in honor of God and his word of truth?
© Natasha S. Robinson 2011
2 thoughts on “HOT TOPIC: Addiction”
Let’s put aside the God v Devil concept for another time and instead focus on the concept of addiction. Perhaps addiction isn’t the work of the Devil. Perhaps it is nothing more than another test from God. God is always testing, always challenging those that believe and strive to follow His teachings.
How else to whittle the flock? How else to provide the lessons needed to understand and truly appreciate His blessings and grace?
Hey there brother,
I can’t honestly talk about this topic without including God and the devil in the conversation. Here is why:
Addiction is a sinful act that results from yielding to ones’ temptations. The Bible says this about the issue, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is temptiong me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers (James 1:13-16).”
Addiction is definitely a work of the devil. The heart of addiction is evil.
This passage also challenges us to make a clear distinction between temptation to sin (which is of the devil and leads to death) and testing of God (for the purpose of building our Christian character and leads to eternal life with him).
I do agree that we only realize and appreciate God’s blessings and grace when we understand that we have a dire need for him, that we cannot overcome and walk in victory of our own strength. That’s why we need a Savior because sin is constantly around tempting us and our evil hearts are prone to wonder away from God.