Addiction

You don't have to be a crackhead to be addicted to something. In fact, most addicts are pretty normal on the surface, unless they can't get their hands on what they crave. Why? Because they're using whatever it is they crave (food, drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, praise, wealth, snickerdoodles) to fill a hole inside, and filling that hole is the only way to maintain balance.

Of course, addiction is the epitome of imbalanced living, but it's hard for the addict to see that. It's often equally difficult for those around them to see it, and so the twisted cycle is allowed to repeat itself over and over and over. At some point, the addict gives himself over, and then only a miracle can save him.

Only a miracle can save any of us. We're all addicts, and we all fight the sin in our lives which seems to come back again and again no matter what. It takes Jesus Christ's saving mercy to rescue our souls, and it takes his grace and promise of sanctification to lift us out of the mire of selfish living.

That's not to diminish the real difficulty of those who struggle with physical, emotional, and psychosomatic addiction. Because we live in a fallen world, our brains and bodies don't act the way they're supposed to, and once we stop resisting our worst urges we've effectively given up our self-control and any chance of being healthy.

Addiction is a prison. Once you're in, it's very difficult to see a way out. Whatever you long for becomes the only thing visible, and when the allure fades and you find yourself in handcuffs, you've long since forgotten where you put the key. But there is a key, and His name is Jesus Christ, and only faith in Him will deliver you from the bondage of constant desire.

It's important that we call addiction by its true name: idolatry. Wanting anything that isn't God so much that you make it a god is idolatry of the old-fashioned kind. Idolatry is a sin problem, and sin is our rebellion against God, our usurpation of His glory, and a declaration of war on righteousness.

Even so, we must exhibit compassion for those in the throes of addiction. We don't dare look down on them or ignore their need, thinking we're better or more worthy of God's affection. All have sinned, and all who are saved are equally reliant on God's mercy to see Him face to face in His heavenly kingdom.

When we see others suffering, the response should always be to help them, both physically and spiritually. If we're the ones struggling, we need to set apart our pride and plead for help. The point isn't simply to escape our addiction: it's to turn from idolatry to the only true God who saves.

The resources you'll find below are Gospel-centered, and because they're Gospel-centered they're practical. There is no more all-inclusive program for turning our back on sin and embracing the goodness of Jesus than the Good News of His death, burial, and resurrection to defeat sin. Run to Him, lead others to Him, and relinquish all addiction for the freedom of His love.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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