A Parade of Everyday Addicts
- Monday, August 11, 2008
Such is also the case for our everyday addictions. We feel out of sorts when we lose our cell phone or are unable to check our e-mail for a few days or perhaps even a few hours. We feel disconcerted if we cannot indulge in our nightly glass of wine or weekend shopping trip.
We’re uncomfortable if our television goes on the blink and we’re left having to converse with one another.
The Truth Will Set You Free
Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Just before saying this, however, He said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.” Jesus connects freedom to being disciples. He offers a path out of the bondage of addictions—the path of discipleship.
We know this principle, yet we remain reluctant truth seekers. We remain unwilling disciples, choosing instead to believe that we can find our own way out of the wilderness. We’ve gone hundreds of years without openly talking about addiction—the proverbial elephant in the room. Why talk about it now? Haven’t we been doing just fine letting the beast roam freely as long as it’s not affecting anyone? Haven’t we done fine on our own?
Let’s get this straight: Elephants don’t roam freely without affecting people. They poop; they smell; they bump into things, crowd our living spaces, and generally wreak havoc. In future chapters, we’ll talk about the effect the elephant in the room has on our ability to function. Furthermore, we are not doing so well winging it on our own. We’re employing massive denial when we claim that elephants are nothing more than a nuisance and that we can manage our lives just fine, thank you.
Why talk about it now? Because we’ve been introduced to concepts such as codependency and boundaries and have a hunch that the problem is larger than we believed, so perhaps we’re ready to hear more about it.
We’re also developing addictions at faster and faster rates. Methamphetamine abuse has exploded in recent years, as have e-mail, cell phone, and Internet addictions. You can almost hear the clanging of balls and chains as we meander through life. We’re not free—we live in an addicted society, and our addictions are increasing.
Finally, we’re talking about it now because it’s time to break free from everyday addictions. It’s time to look in the mirror and determine whether we’ve become enslaved to some addictive substance or activity. Whether your everyday addiction is debilitating methamphetamine abuse or a more socially acceptable addiction to e-mail, these behaviors and substances have the power to enslave us.
As we travel together through this book, I invite you to consider the possibility that all of us are encumbered with everyday addictions that control us. All of us desperately need freedom from substances or activities that restrict us to a particular way of behaving. We yearn for a free life.
Addiction Does Not Discriminate
Addiction doesn’t just happen to the derelict. Addiction is not simply a problem for the emaciated heroin addict. Addiction isn’t relegated to back alleys.
We have to understand that we have found the addict, and the addict is us. You and me. Our mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers. Our best friends and our worst enemies. Everyday addictions are commonplace, testing the rich and famous as well as the middle-class suburbanites. Everyday addictions attack those who are poor in faith and rich in faith.
The truth of the matter is that no one is a cookie-cutter addict—we come in all sizes and shapes. We’re a mishmash of cocaine addicts, cell phone addicts, food addicts, and gambling addicts. We overspend, overwork, shop too much, and become entangled in sexual sins. We’re addicted to innumerable drugs and activities that create a wide range of everyday addicts.
So we have many different kinds of addicts, and many are Christians. They come in all faiths, ages, shapes, sizes, and economic backgrounds. We’d like to think we’re insulated from these problems, but this simply isn’t true. In fact, as many addicts are inside the church as outside.
I’m pushing for us to get comfortable with the notion. The first step is to nod your head and sit down!
Copyright © 2008 by Dr. David Hawkins
Published by Harvest House Publishers
Used by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher, except as provided for by USA copyright law.
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