Back on Day 42 of Lent, we talked about Addictions and the subtle and slow ways people become entrapped in an addictive cycle. Inherent in an addiction is a trust issue. For the God-follower, there are important questions being asked, particularly, if you know all the negative and destructive effects of a drug or other problem behavior, why keep doing it?
Why do people use drugs and porn and over eat and impulse shop and other things like these? Common reasons are some kind of distressed, some kind of lonely or some kind of bored.
When you’re distressed, do you believe that God can comfort? When you’re bored, do you believe God can give you purpose? When you’re lonely, do you believe that God can satiate the longing in your heart?
Do you believe God will give you strength to work through your triggers? Do I believe that God and spiritual things are interesting and worth the attention and actually more interesting and worthwhile than any other pursuit I can envision?
Any discussion about addiction ultimately becomes a discussion about beliefs. Often, deep down, a person addicted to a substance or behavior beliefs that there is nothing beyond the substance or behavior, either to give comfort or pleasure or to solve problems. I believe that freedom from addiction is possible when you believe that there is in fact something more than your substance or behavior of choice. That something more could be something small like good problem solving skills, a good relaxation technique. Could be something more meaningful like a relationship or a community. Ultimately, any exploration of the “something more” should lead to an understanding of God who is the ultimate “more.”
If the spiritual person really truly believes that God is good and present and able to satisfy and comfort and offer refuge from crises, then that person can attain freedom from addictions. There will be pain and lots of hard work, no doubt. But freedom will still be possible.