Skip to main content

Finding Freedom from Addiction

Last week, Colorado and Washington State took a bold step and legalized marijuana for recreational use. How should we react? Should we celebrate the private liberty of individuals to do what they want with their own bodies? Or should we mourn the fact that drug abuse and possession by minors will likely increase?

Let’s take a step back from marijuana for a moment. The fact is, we already have plenty of addictive substances that are fully “legal” in our culture. Alcohol can be addictive. Nicotine can be addictive. Prescription drugs can be addictive. Even comfort foods can be addictive. And let’s not forget other activities like gambling, pornography, shopping, and video games.

 If there is anything you find yourself constantly craving -- that you can’t live without or that you would do anything to get -- you are struggling with an addiction. It can be a miserable way to live.

Thankfully, the Bible offers great hope for addicts. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

This verse offers three basic steps for addicts: 
  1. Remember you are not alone. Your temptation is “common to mankind.” It is shared by thousands of others. Whatever your struggle, know that you are not the first to face this temptation, and you will not be the last. Other people have beaten this habit, and so can you. 
  2. Trust in God. He is faithful and can give you the power to say “no.” Those who know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord receive strength from above. “Now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life” (Romans 6:22). 
  3. Look for an escape route. Addicts can feel like they’re being held hostage against their will. But God says there is always a “way out.” The Bible, the Holy Spirit, godly friends, and a loving church are just some of the keys God provides to unlock those handcuffs and escape the bondage of sin. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

The legalization of marijuana may continue to be fiercely debated. But this much is clear: addiction is something we all struggle with. And only God can give us the power to say no and follow Him.

This article first appeared in today's edition of our local newspaper, the Hi Desert Star

Photo credit: Freedigitalphotos.net

Comments

  1. Wow, a great little article that exposes our sin(s), and points us to the hope in Christ. This is not what we are used to seeing in newspapers today. I pray that this article further promotes the Gospel of Christ and our need for Him throughout the basin.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Herod who??

I must admit, I still get confused by all those Herods mentioned in the New Testament. To keep them straight, I find it helpful to read the biblical text with a genealogy of Herod's family at my side (here's one from the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible).


Well, so much for simplicity. Even this chart looks more like an engineering schematic than a family tree. To boil it all down, there are four key members of Herod's family mentioned in the Gospels...

Herod the Great. This is the original Herod of them all. The very name sent shivers up the spine of ancient Jews. Son of Antipater, he was a cunning politician, ruthless dictator, and brilliant architect. He was responsible for constructing the temple mount in Jerusalem, fortress palaces at Herodium and Masada, and a harbor at Caesarea -- all which continue to astound archaeologists and engineers today. In addition to killing several kin who threatened his throne, Herod murdered all the young boys in Bethlehem at the news that…

A review of the HCSB Study Bible

Today, I finally had a chance to browse through a copy of the new HCSB Study Bible.

The HCSB Study Bible is 2272 pages long (plus a few maps). As expected, the translation is the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) version. It ranks well and rivals the ESV in both exegetical accuracy and literary quality. Some of its unique features are:
Its translation of yahweh as "Yahweh" (instead of LORD) in the OT when referring to the personal name of God (e.g. Ex. 3:15)The translation of doulos as "slave" instead of "servant" or "bondservant" in the New Testament (e.g. Rom. 1:1)The translation of christos as "Messiah" in the New Testament, whenever referring to the Jewish expectation of the Messiah (e.g. Matt. 16:16)Capitalized pronouns when referring to GodThe use of contractions in direct discourse (e.g. "let's go" in Mark 1:38)A wonderful feature called bullet notes (small bullets next to key words that may be unfamiliar, poin…

Restoring old photos of Israel

In his latest newsletter, Todd Bolen explains the painstaking process of restoring old photos to create the 8-volume American Colony and Eric Matson Collection. It’s a fascinating project that really makes you appreciate the end result. Here’s his full article…Shortly after producing a collection of modern-day photographs in the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands (initially released in January 2000), I began work on a supplementary collection that would peel back the recent layers of time to reveal the sites of the Holy Land before the changes brought by modernization.  The initial fruit of this work was the release of 8 volumes of Historic Views of the Holy Land in November 2004.About that same time, I learned that the Library of Congress was digitizing the G. Eric and Edith Matson Negatives.  Between 1966 and 1981, Eric Matson and his beneficiary donated this collection to the Library of Congress. But public access was limited and costly until 2004, when the first negatives were scann…