Recently, my childhood friend commemorated the 10 year anniversary of her husband’s death. He fought a long battle with substance abuse and, tragically, it consumed him. Whether it’s food, shopping, social media, pornography, substances, etc., many of us have loved (and sometimes lost) someone with addiction. In fact, so many of us struggle with addiction, that this struggle is a conversation Christians must have continually with ourselves, and with those around us.
I wonder if perhaps at the core of addiction we feel that we are unworthy of God’s love, and we either don’t understand or have lost faith in His power. Perhaps we never understood our true identity, or have forgotten it, and we feel lost in the storm. Caught in this struggle, we fight feelings of inadequacy, doubt, pain and worthlessness. We continually chase after our addiction, hoping that it will assuage our fears and pain. Believing that somehow we can overcome on our own, or that we’ll only give in “one last time-then I’m done for good”, we are often unable to fight the urges. In the following moments of self-loathing and defeat, we set up a firmer foundation to return to the addiction to fight the pain. And so the spiral goes, and with each turn the Enemy has us believing a LIE.
We must remember some important verses, a few among many, when we consider this topic.
“..for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
Beloved, God knows your struggle and He loves you anyway. He always has. There is nothing that can separate you from the love of God if you will seek Him. Please don’t give up.
If you, or anyone you know, are struggling with addictions, please do the following:
- Tell someone: We are never more vulnerable to the influence of darkness than when we are alone. Don’t be afraid to tell someone you can trust about your struggle.
- Get help: Whatever your struggle, there IS a way to fight it. You need help to truly heal; don’t hesitate to get the support you need to recover.
- Pray continually: Prayer can lift you out of darkness and into an abundant life. God is mighty to save you and He can and will help you rebuild if you will seek Him.
- Help others: There is no greater way to encourage yourself, to get perspective and to open up your heart in humility, than helping those in need.