Sin that enslaves us

Nearly everyone is affected by addiction, whether they are addicts themselves or know someone who is. Addictions run rampant in our culture and destroy careers, families, relationships and lives. Just this past month, there were three prominent stories about addiction in the media. In China, a 19-year-old battling an Internet addiction cut off his hand; in the U.S., NFL Cleveland Browns quarterback and former Heisman trophy winner, Johnny Manziel, checked himself into rehab for alcohol addiction. And singer, Demi Lovato, celebrated three years of sobriety from her eating addiction and substance abuse.

What Is addiction?

Addiction is defined by as the “state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming.” Addictions normally involve a combination of genetic predisposition and poor lifestyle choices, causing an addict’s brain to be diseased. How do you know if someone has an addiction? Behavior exemplifying a lack of control over one’s actions or a continuous compulsive behavior despite negative consequences may indicate an addiction.

More than bad habits

The meaning of the Latin word for addiction is “enslaved by.” Addictions are more than bad habits; they enslave us spiritually by causing the brain to depend on a substance or behavior instead of depending on God. Sin leading to addiction is a powerful enemy, cutting us off from our life-giving source, our Creator. Being a slave to addiction keeps us from being the true embodiment of Christ that Christians are called to be. Addiction comes like a thief to kill, steal and destroy, but God desires for us to live life abundantly (John 10:10). God created us with strong desires, but we often aim those desires in the wrong direction, believing lies about what might fulfill us. Instead, the Lord wants us to aim our desires towards a relationship with Jesus that will not only set us free but also will give us life and purpose.

Question of the day: At what point does a behavior become an addiction?
Focal Scriptures: Romans 7:21–8:11; Matthew 5:27-30; Hebrews 12:1-12

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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