In Focus

Addiction

MunnRichardHumans are scarred by brokenness. While that is not news, there is a dimension to it that is especially malicious and deceptive, which many people prefer to ignore—addiction.

Addiction is any compulsive, habitual behavior that limits the freedom of human desire. We attach our desires to specific objects and become consumed by the habitual behavior. We want to break away from the object of our craving, but we cannot.

Universal

Addiction has been described as the sacred disease of our time and in some way we are all affected—from a person craving caffeine or chocolate to a family torn apart by alcohol or drugs.  “To be alive is to be addicted, and to be alive and addicted is to stand in need of grace,” writes theologian Gerald May.

Cunning, Baffling, Powerful

Paul has insight into addiction and realizes its power: “What I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do … the evil I do not want to do, this I keep on doing” (Rom. 7:14–19).

The cruel dimension to addiction is those substances that cause destruction or injury to self and to other people.

Grace

The good news is that there are functioning members of society who, by God’s grace, have overcome crippling addictions. One feature of their testimony is reference to a spiritual healing.

One principled action is to avoid addictive substances and enticements altogether. A frequent lament is regret over the initial experimentation. Addiction and grace; anti–thesis and thesis.

by Colonel Richard Munn

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