Thursday, April 15, 2010

Addictions

Addiction: Something that a person devotes or surrenders themselves to, either habitually or obsessively.
Is it our addiction to live a holy, separated life or is it our addiction to do otherwise? Most times when you think of addictions, you think of drugs or food. But that’s not where it stops. You can have an addiction to anything. What most people don’t realize is that addictions take over our character, if not just our lives, and impact every thing we do.

The reason I say that it takes over our character is that the influence our addiction has is not always shown to everyone, usually it is personal and only we see how it affects our lives.

For example, if we are addicted to shopping, we will find reasons to condone why we shop when we don’t need to or why we always have to go shopping when anybody is having a sale. We start to show signs of bad money management, always spending a few bucks for the thrill of buying something new. Doesn’t matter if we wear it once or don’t wear it at all, we just want to shop. Nobody sees the bad money management or the thrill we get, they just see the ripples of our actions in the water (aka our lives). Only when we realize that we are dirt broke and can barely put gas in our car or food on our tables do we even think about “maybe that $20 sweater wasn’t a NEED”

If our addiction is food, we will find any reason to eat…we won’t be hungry but we’ll say we find comfort in food….why don’t we try to find comfort in GOD??? We will think nothing of downing a whole family size meal from Popeye’s, a gallon of ice cream, a box of cereal and a gallon of milk…then later, our clothes don’t fit or we’ve gone to the doctor and they’ve told us that our cholesterol and blood pressure are through the roof and we’re looking at a massive heart attack soon if we don’t change…

If our addiction is always being busy, we miss the things that make human interaction worthwhile…instead of enjoying hanging out, we’re consumed with the “I have to be busy doing (something)” bug. Nothing good comes out of running around on fumes. We lose the joy in everyday living. Seeing old friends, catching up with new friends, laying back and watching one of those 80’s movies reruns on a Saturday…those who are close to us start to see and feel like they are not important to us because we no longer have time for them…it’s been said….WHERE YOU PLACE YOUR TIME IS WHERE YOU PLACE IMPORTANCE, time is something you only get once, and once you spend it, it’s gone forever.

ADDICTIONS DON’T HURT JUST YOU, THEY HURT YOUR FAMILY AND THOSE YOU INTERACT WITH…do you want a homeless and broke household….do you want to leave your family behind to deal with your death…do you want to lose your friends because you’ve pushed them all away with your actions or inactions?

Addictions are like tapeworms, they feed off of us and drain us of what we need and what we’re supposed to be. We can have spiritual tapeworms and those are the worst….yes we need our human bodies to be in great shape, but the difference with the spiritual tapeworm is that nobody sees it (it’s on the inside) and it affects our influence for God’s Kingdom.

Addictions are a DAILY STRUGGLE. Whether physical, mental, or emotional, we HAVE to go to GOD for help and not assume that we can do it “on our own”. We never do anything on our own, God’s ALWAYS the source of our strength. Seriously, since when has every person using drugs just quit cold turkey? Most go through a detox program or some kind of program where the amount of drugs they used are continuously reduced until they are no longer dependent on them. When we have addictions and we don’t deal with them, those who know and are close to us see firsthand just how strong our “weakest link” is.

We have to admit:

1) We’re human…We’re NOT superhuman

2) We all have flaws

3) We need SUPPORT when dealing with addictions (people go to Alcoholics Anonymous, Weight Watchers and other support groups). Key note: we don’t always need a support GROUP, but we need one or two people to be on that prayer hotline for us. Even if we don’t tell them what our addiction is, they need to know that it is of the utmost importance...anything wrong affects our walk with GOD.

4) Don’t think that after a dry spell that one slip up WON’T put us back at square one….many people have gone back for just one more (fill in the blank) and find themselves in just as bad shape as when they first started trying to drop their addiction.

5) Lying to OURSELVES about our addiction does not make it any less real, any less of an issue, or less wrong. If God said “I’ll let man lie to himself about his sinful addictions so they won’t be sin anymore and he can continue to do them” then that would change the whole definition of sin in the Bible.

While dealing with whatever our addictions may be, we have to realize that the day we STOP trying to do our best in what GOD wants for us is the day we may as well tell God “kill me now”. We stop being a pure, usable vessel for him, and now taint everything pouring out of us with a tinge of attitude, a tinge of wrongful treatment, a tinge of personal feelings or just a tinge of that good ‘ol selfish human nature.

**Let me state this: This isn’t just for everyone else, this is also to myself….I used to be VERY OCD…my closest friends can tell you, the closet, the kitchen, the bathrooms, EVERYTHING…. If things weren’t a certain way, I could flip out easily. NOW….while I think I still have some issues with it but not as much as before, I’ve seen how my flipping out about things not being in order or not being a specific way can affect my character, my witness and my family. It may seem funny to you (go ahead and laugh) but it's not so funny when people leave you to do something alone because they're tired of being picked at for not doing something the way you like it...so people PLEASE….take the time to face your addictions, man up, pray up, strap yourself in and dig in your heels…..it’s going to be a bumpy ride, but with the right support and (mainly just) GOD ….nothing is impossible.