Friday, January 30, 2009

Addiction and God

From M. Scott Peck’s Further Along the Road Less Traveled: The Unending Journey Towards Spiritual Growth comes the following wisdom:

“Addicts are people who have a more powerful calling than most to the spirit, to God, but they simply have the directions of the journey mixed up.”[1]

This is certainly true from my life experience; if those who develop dependencies and addictions need something or someone, it’s God--and it is God and only God who can get them out of the entangled slavish mess that has become their lives. (Suits, reputations and flash possessions can’t hide the truth. Addiction can touch anyone. Troubled lives unravel suddenly without warning.)

These unfortunates seek a revelation or an escape from the pains of life, or both. Both of these things are available in God. He helps us see the revelation and gives us strength to cope with the day-to-day as well as the troublesome in the whole of our lives.

He deals with our brokenness lovingly, gracefully... perfectly.

Perhaps there is also the role here for Satan in mixing up the mind of the addict so they are positively confounded in their search for God and truth. They’re blinded by the Liar.

Addicts and those dependent on substances are more passionate and polarised in their views than almost everyone else. Passion is not lost on God; in fact, passion to worship and serve God is the elixir of true life. I’ve seen dozens of turned-addicts and those who’ve left dependency become fervent, powerful spokespeople for God. There are millions who’ve been raised literally from the dead or dying, having taken this path. God is the only Saviour.

The fact that chemical addicts crave the experiences that most resemble a spiritual awakening is compelling in itself. Spiritual experiences that are felt in worship can closely resemble the euphoria of drug and alcohol use, but the source is so pure, the experience so purely loving. It can be believed in truth.

Addiction and God truly go together but not at the same time.

There has to be a ‘jumping off point’ for the addict or dependent person. They cannot travel with God until they take this ‘leap of faith.’ It’s a sure and certain fact. This step demands a brutal, total honesty with no holding back--a frank admission of the depth of the problem and that salvation is wholly dependent on God.

The king of liars is the one, however, who will tell the addict or dependent person that it’s okay to seek God paralysed in inebriation. Satan will seek to keep this person as blind as a bat!

Don’t listen to the lie, addict. Go alone with God; trust him alone; find new and true, faithful friends who know how to deal with your condition and do what they say, and you will make it.

And freedom will at last and finally be yours. Then you must keep it. Once you get a taste of this real freedom you will want more, and that will keep you straight.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

[1] M. Scott Peck, Further Along the Road Less Traveled: The Unending Journey Towards Spiritual Growth (New York, Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 1993), p. 137.

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