I struggle to know where to start when talking about addiction in general, and specifically, how we as Christians can even begin to look at and discuss this most destructive and consuming evil.
The destructive lure of that which promises to alleviate pain and transport us to a place of peace and happiness is really a path to broken families, bad health, mental illness, incarceration, and even death.
And yet, millions of men, women, and young people are in the grips of addictive behavior every day, many of them Christians. We live our lives, wrestle with adversity, attempt to be okay in this crazy world and then when the opportunity presents itself we will pick up that drink or drug, go to that internet site, etc. and partake. And the result may be deliverance, although only temporary from that which is hurting us, or causing pain and discomfort. Those emotions, which we are unable to control, push us to the point of indulging in destructive behavior in using whatever is our drug of choice. We all have those weak areas, and yet some of us are able to navigate around that dark place while others cannot. This causes them to look into the void and proceed to do that which consumes, controls and ultimately destroys.
As believers, there is a place where we can go for help. The problem is that often the behavior and guilt or shame that comes with the addiction prevents us from taking that step into the light. For some, they are just not wanting to give up that which makes us feel good and exchange it for a life free from the grip of that which they crave.
Habits are developed, and interestingly good habits can be broken in an instant, whereas it seems the bad habits, those things we do which tear us apart, just won’t let go and we can find ourselves in that place where we believe that we will never break free from the habit that refuses to let go.
God is in the miracle business.
And indeed, every day people do come out of the life of addiction. Like everything else in life – even with addiction, we can see and take steps to get from where we are to where God wants us to be – that place free from that which poisons us.
Psalm 40 talks about David crying out to God in a persistent fashion. And God in his mercy lifted David out of the pit, out of that dark hole in the ground and set David’s feet on solid ground.
God wants to work in the lives of all of us and the addicted person is no exception. He loves us dearly. He cares and wants to be intimately involved in our lives. As believers, we know there is life after death. We need to know there is also life after addiction.
It starts with our Lord working directly in our lives and also through the lives of those He puts around us to be a help and support. This why a church family is so vital to sober Christian living.
Whether you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, it is my prayer that you will reach up to the Savior and also out to those healthy people that God does have nearby.
People who care.
People who can help.
I like to think that our church family at Island Christian Church is such a place where those struggling can come for help and support. We care about all those who are battling addiction and God cares so much as well.
I don’t mean to be overly simplistic about a very complicated issue, but felt I needed to share my thoughts with those in our church family as well as in our community.
It is my prayer that if you are struggling with, and living in the dark days and nights of addiction, that you will cry out to the One who cares for you deeply and take that first step of coming into the light.
Pastor Steve Bayne
Pastor Steve oversees the Rest & Recovery Men’s group at Island Christian Church.
He also oversees the Griefshare and Divorce Care groups.