I was recently listening to a woman share her story about struggling to overcome drug and alcohol addiction. It had been some time since I had seen last, so I warmly greeted her and asked how she was doing. I nearly teared up as she described how she became homeless before becoming clean. She described how her faith journey led her down a path to replace her lonely emptiness with God and her family. She was very excited and proud of the number of days she had been clean and sober. As we talked further, I realized that she and I had more in common in how we dealt with difficult circumstances.
Addiction In Your Life
I noticed a similarity in the destructive mechanisms we both employ to cope with our lives. For her, she admitted to using anything she could find to numb the pain, including drugs and alcohol. Some of us may race to the refrigerator to find something to numb the emptiness. Some folks seek one night stands to block out their pain and their thoughts. Cars, houses, and spending sprees are used to fill in the blanks in our lives. For the most part, the person you see in the mirror each morning, is closely related to the drug addict.
Recognize and Strategize
Our greatest difficulty is having the patience to establish new routines. Getting yourself set in the right direction is like steering a large ship. You can establish a new destination quite hurriedly with ease. However, getting that beast of a ship turned around and headed in the right direction, will take some effort. The Apostle Paul, frames this well.
“That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.”
Romans 6:12–14 MSG
Free At Last
The imprints left in our flesh from the shackles may be fresh, but remember you and I are no longer slaves. I often am reminded of the story of the bird in its cage. He spends his entire life in the cage. When the cage door is finally opened, he doesn’t become free, he stays in the cage. The bird has become so used to his view and his surroundings that when the cage door is flung open, he stays. He trades his freedom for slavery, because that is all he knows. Embrace these words.
“Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.”
Galatians 5:1 MSG
The door of your cage is open, enjoy the freedom Christ has given you.