The Bible emphatically informs us that we who love God are temples of His Holy Spirit (1Co.3:16). Abusing the temple is a quick way to cut off spiritual fellowship. It’s amazing how many ways we can abuse our jars of clay.
Romans 13:13,14-- Let us walk with decency, as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires.
It is interesting that Paul was not writing to unbelievers but rather to fellow Christians when he wrote the exhortation above. The Roman society he knew had perfected feeding pleasure. No doubt he watched many who loved Christ fall prey to the temptation to gratify sanctioned lusts. There is a term for the condition in which we dwell on indulging our bodies—addiction. It is not a well-received word today. In truth, we’ve become quite good at using blame to rationalize addiction. "He was abused as a child—so he can’t help being trapped in pornography." While in fact there are chemical traits that pass from one generation to another rendering some extremely vulnerable to alcohol, it is still comes down to choice to pick up that first bottle and drink. Virtually all addictions do not happen by accident but rather by choice.
Great Christian homes have been ruined by a dad or mom who started playing the lottery, fell in love with gambling and couldn’t stop. How many Christian marriages have been destroyed by a spouse secretly smoking joints before graduating to hard drugs? There are men who once hungrily read Scripture who now cannot get enough sports. They can recite statistics on players for the past twenty years, would never think of not buying season tickets to attend every game, but who have no time for Jesus. Others cannot wait until the office is clear so they can surf from one pornographic website to another. Still others cannot satiate the need to make more money, to buy new and better toys, homes, cars etc. Their thirst cannot be quenched, for lust never leads to light only destruction.
The signs of addiction are plentiful. A person’s physiological or psychological need becomes so great that it creates a wall of defense. Those who are addicted often don’t think they have a problem—they have rationalized so effectively to the point they believe their own press. They will fight to give up anything. They become secretive, often financially strapped, totally lacking in self-control. Soon anger becomes a common emotion with mood swings that baffle and hurt those who are friends or loved ones.
Christian counselor Gerry Blankenheim said, "A person who has an addiction does not have spiritual growth because that addiction becomes god." In truth addiction is both idolatry and adultery. We bow before that which pleases us and set aside the One we worship for another lover.
It is not hard to become addicted. Have you noticed (how couldn’t you!), that drugs flourish in our land? It is easy to obtain Ritalin or Paxil for hyperactive children. It’s easy to let the television, computer games and videos be the babysitter. In a fast-paced society that belches stress, drugs like Zoloft become our magic pill that will make bad feelings go away. But how we define and treat our flesh determines the control Lord Addiction will possess.
Few talk about the side effects of medication. The siren song of every industry catered to pleasing the flesh has no verse describing the long-term consequences of over-indulgence. If you want to avoid becoming addicted you must agree with Paul, "Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be brought under the control of anything . . . Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body" (1 Co.6:12,19,20). If you are already addicted, seek help. God will be your strength if you will let Him!
If you are dealing with volitional or mandated trauma and it effects your thinking such that it causes mental illness, without proper therapy and medication you will not grow as a Christian.—Gerry Blankenheim
©2001 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)