THE EIGHTH FACE OF STRUGGLE: ADDICTION, RELIGION & GOD
This post is part one of a three part series that addresses the complex issues surrounding addictions, religion, and God.
Make no mistake about it, addiction steals lives. They rip families apart, preying upon the deepest yearning we have for belonging and our deep need to love and be loved in return. They steal fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters. They rip families apart and leave in their quake a battlefield of isolation, shame and guilt. Lives that were meant to be filled with joy, hope and love are now hijacked when the initial allure of addiction presents itself.
ADDICTIONS – FALSE PROMISES
At first the addiction is subtle, briefly flashing before the heart, revealing what the heart deeply yearns for in an attempt to garner a second look. A promise to belong, a promise of escape, or a promise of love are all offered. It’s as if the addiction knows what the heart so desperately needs, and it knows how to entice and seduce the heart. However, the addiction must work hard and fast in order to confuse the heart and convince it to accept its false promises.
Like the thief who comes in the night seeking only to steal, kill and destroy, addiction must enter under cover so as to gain entry to the heart. It must cover the sinister falsities and lies that are found at its core because to reveal them would cause the intended victim to flee. You see, at addiction’s core you will find a fearful energy propelled into motion out of a deep hatred of love itself. This dark energy drives addiction to maneuver as it attempts to rob its victim under the cover of false promises. Addiction offers false promises of love, of life and of light, when all the while it secretly desires to destroy these very things. Addiction, being propelled by the angel of light, the fallen archangel – Satan himself, knows the power of love and it uses the desire for love against humanity. You see, addiction seeks nothing more than to steal the birthright and rightful inheritance of God’s children. However, humanity has a shepherd protecting this birthright and his voice will be heard.
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.- John 10: 14-15
The heart holds infinite value and in order to obtain it the currency of the heart must be offered – love itself. However, addiction does not authentically hold such currency so it must commit the crime of thievery in an attempt to gain ownership. Given its disordered nature, addiction steals this currency from the intended victim and, in return, offers it as a gift. Addiction knows the victim’s dreams of a better life, a happier life, a life of peace and love and it offers the promise of their fulfillment as currency. Once the relationship with addiction is consummated the victim unknowingly surrenders love at addiction’s feet.
Now, the heart held in bondage, begins to harden to protect itself from the pain addiction inflicts. The heart begins to believe it is unable to experience love to its fullest, or perhaps, it now settles for less – falsely believing life cannot offer more. These are all lies fed by the addiction and fueled by the evil one. The heart is created to love and it can love to the fullest. Love has greater power and it cannot be suppressed by the false lies addiction offers.
A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. – Ezekiel 36:26
Love is powerful, beautiful, and it is what our core craves, yet, addiction hijacks love and leaves many in a constant state of searching. It is true, nothing compares to pure love, yet addiction appears to have supervened love in the hearts of hundreds of millions of individuals across the world. How can this be? How can we believe that anything other than love can fill the space in a heart that only love can fill? The answer lies in the depth of humanity’s wounds.
YOUR NEXT STEP
We invite you to read the rest of the series here:
If you or a loved one are suffering from addictions, abuse of any kind, or any other health issue, I highly recommend that you seek the care of a qualified health care practitioner skilled in this area. What I am providing you here is not intended as medical care or as a substitution for medical care.