…yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him. I Corinthians 8:6
Addiction: the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.
In the United States 115 people die every day after overdosing on opioids. The majority of people who transitioned to heroin misuse first abused prescription opioids (National Institute of Drug Abuse, March 2018). Opioid addiction is a well-known epidemic that is a public health crisis with devastating consequences—physical, emotional, and financial. We probably all know someone whose life has been touched by the effects of substance abuse.
But have we ever contemplated the effect in our lives of the polite addictions we all tolerate: overeating, workaholism, attachments to technology (think of hours engaged with social media or games), sleep deprivation, laziness, or any compulsion or obsession to which we are attached. Take, for example, a man I knew who was harsh on people who indulged in “social drinking.” However, on his back porch he had cases of Dr. Pepper stacked as high as they could go. He was “hooked.” And then there was the “night owl” who had as hard a time going to bed as some folks do getting up because of the fetish for the late hours.
I knew someone who was so attached to reading that she had no interest in cleaning the house or taking care of the children. And then, I suspect, we all know the hazards of getting involved with the Internet or certain television programs. They’re almost impossible to shut down, and yet they’re all socially acceptable.
The things I’ve mentioned are perfectly all right in our society. But what happens when they interfere with our particular calling? Henry Blackaby (Knowing God) has said that, “No, Lord” is a contradiction of terms. Jesus can’t be Lord when we say, “Wait,” or “Not now.” The only obedience we can offer is instant doing of our Father’s will. It’s the little things that keep us from pleasing our Father.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest) says, “We fail because we are ignorant of the way we are made, we put things down to the devil instead of our own undisciplined natures.” Just try a simple little test. Think about the things you look forward to doing. What happens if something (or someone) interferes with your “thing?” Is it almost impossible to delay or stop that particular activity or substance? Can you go a week without your favorite TV show or your favorite food or drink? You get the picture. Do you live with freedom or bondage?
To what do you say, “Yes, Lord?” Once we say, “Yes,” to God and set our wills to do his will, he gives us the strength to put away the distractions that keep us addicted. He can set us free. Do it now.
Father, we let little things rob us. Open our understanding of the vast, wide world of freedom to which you have called us as your children. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.