Addiction Kills but Jesus Saves

Addiction Kills but Jesus Saves

In Preparation...

  • Consider things in your life that might carry with them an unhealthy component to living a full and healthy life.
  • Prayerfully consider what it might take to remove the worst and most harmful item from both the physical and spiritual life you lead.

We are the lighthouse or the rocks

10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 6:10-11 (KJV)

Nobody quits smoking, then after a month decides to go back to it because it is a good and healthy way to live. Certainly, people do go back to smoking after a short period of quitting, but that is a function of the addiction to the nicotine overpowering the desire to be more healthy.

Is smoking legal? Yes, if you are old enough to buy them.

Is it good for you? No, and everyone knows that thanks to the prominent warning on each and every package of cigarettes sold anywhere.

So, if they are actually, factually killing people by tiny slivers each time someone lights up a cigarette why are they still permitted to be sold? Free will.

If they are legal to buy, why have an age limit on them? The supposition is that because they are damaging, and unhealthy people need to be old enough to make their own decisions. Currently, the age of majority in the United States is eighteen however, the age to buy tobacco is twenty-one.

Why the discrepancy? Human beings and political motivations.

What does smoking have to do with Jesus, dying to sin, and living for God? The comparison should be obvious but, in both cases, sin and tobacco, the substance being used are not good for people. In both cases, warnings have been issued and all people are aware of these warnings, what the consequences of the use of the substances have, and that they should avoid these things.

If everyone knows these things are damaging to the health of the human body, then why do people use them at all? Something is lacking in their lives for which they think these things will somehow either make up for it or provide the missing piece, but it will not.

Then what is the solution? Again, the solution is obvious. In both cases, the solution is to quit using the substance and follow a different path. In both cases that path is one that can be found in God. In both cases, Jesus’ words in scripture can lead people away from the damaging substance and to the healthier substance.

Why don’t people just do that then? Addiction is a powerful force. It takes a more powerful force to overcome it because in many cases the thing the person is addicted to is so strong in their life that they just don’t have the force of will to make the good choices on their own. They need help.

20  For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
21  Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.
22  But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.
23  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:20-23 (NASB)

12  I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
13  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:12-13 (NASB)

So, where do they find that help? In the same place and from the same source all help flows. Jesus. The Twelve Steppers can tell you that through faith in a “higher power” and a group of like-minded people you can beat your addiction. It is no coincidence that many twelve-step programs meet in churches. Churches by design are exactly what addicts need to overcome those things that have a hold on their lives. The problem is, most addicts cannot begin to identify the problem, or even that there is a problem until everything else has been taken out of their lives and the only thing that remains is them, and the thing that is killing them. Stare the addiction in the face night and day for a while and only two outcomes are possible: recovery or death. It is a hard truth, and a painful one but it is the truth; and unfortunately, some people never can make the first choice and end up with the second.

That is horrible. So, what can we do to help people make better choices? Be the light of the world. Shine the lamp of truth on the path so that those wandering in darkness can see it as a light at the end of the tunnel clearly and not mistake it for an oncoming train. Polish the mirror of our personal stories so that we are better able to reflect the light of hope that is Jesus Christ to the wanderers. Root out those things that do not align with God’s word, God’s ways, and God’s goodness so that nothing hinders those seeking to throw off the bonds and chains of that which holds them down.

Cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, pornography, these things are addictions of the World and they destroy lives. Sin as outlined in the Bible are addictions of the spirit and they destroy much more than temporal lives. Jesus saves from both and the church should be the lighthouse keeping people off the rocks of sin rather than the pirate port welcoming it with open arms because that feels good.

Digging Deeper

  • Research the steps in a Twelve Step program whether you believe you need them or not just to become familiar with them.
  • If you determine you need one of these, contact your local church to see if they have one or if you know someone who seems to fit the bill for this type of thing, simply contact them and see how they are doing.
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