While the world may see those deemed addicts as unique or different from everyone else, God’s word doesn’t make such a distinction. While not everyone struggles with alcohol, drugs, sex or food in the same way we do all have something that will rule over us if given the chance. Jesus in fact said, “everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” So, in other words, we all come into this life with a problem the Bible calls sin. Whether you ever choose to label it addiction or not is entirely up to you; but we do know without Christ we will all remain “addicted” or a “slave to sin.”
Recently Tracey and I had a visit with a lady whose son has become hooked on alcohol. Like plenty of us he had some bad things happen in his life and he turned to alcohol for comfort resulting in an inability to stop drinking. She told us when he drinks “he talks out of his head and doesn’t make any sense.” When he’s sober he’s just as quiet and sweet as ever. She said, “When he’s drunk he tells me he hates it, and yet he can’t seem to stop.”
Whenever we, or someone we love, is struggling with some particular sin or fleshly habit and can’t seem to gain victory the analysis begins. We’ll start trying to diagnose the problem in order to come up with solutions. Sometimes we over-analyze things with hopes of finding the root of the problem. While I agree we do need to get to the root of the problem; the root is much deeper than a dysfunctional family, alcoholic parents, lack of education, lack of money and so on. While all of these make considerable contributions to the pain and suffering there is yet one even deeper problem the Bible addresses.
God’s word is the only place that provides the answer to the real problem and it’s sin. You see one thing we all have in common according to the Bible is we all come from a sinful forefather. “Through one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned…” You see all of us were in Adam when he sinned therefore he wasn’t alone in his guilt. While that is bad news thank God it isn’t the final word. There is some good news “For as through the one man’s disobedience (Adam) the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One (Jesus Christ) the many will be made righteous.”
When you find yourself listening to someone attempting to figure out why they or someone they love does what they do just remember we’re all in the same boat. Just because you may not drink, do drugs or gamble to soothe your conscience doesn’t mean you’re any different. Sin has a way of cropping up in our lives in many ways and just because yours appears a little different than mine doesn’t mean it is any different at the root. This is what the Apostle Paul is telling us in Romans 6 &7. He tells us in Romans six “all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into his death.” You see God knows we can’t be fixed so he has us joined to Christ in his death and burial in order to raise us back to life in Christ as a brand new creature! We have been crucified with Christ therefore we are to walk in newness of life. That my friend is the answer for you and the addict in your life. Just like all of us we must be born again of God’s Spirit by being joined in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.
While alcohol, drugs and every other life controlling issue you can name is painful, costly and even devastating at times it doesn’t have to have the last say. Since Jesus Christ died, went into the grave, and came out victorious on the other side, we too can overcome anything sin throws at us. The key is to recognize God created us human beings to be powerless in and of ourselves. He doesn’t mean for us to be without power though but he means for us to receive Him by the Spirit so he is the power in and through us. Once we see this we will join with the Apostle Paul when he said, “Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”
“For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to his mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior…”