The medicine man
The medicine tastes good. It's numbing effect, makes you feel better. The medicine reduces the temporary pain and may even help with local inflammation. The medicine doesn't cure the disease- but it helps to manage the symptoms. Unfortunately, the medicine is very expensive. It has quite a few side effects including being quite addictive.
Imagine having a terrible disease- and knowing there was a cure- yet because the cure took time and effort, you settled for taking the medicine. Because you wouldn't wait, you wouldn't listen, you wouldn't accept the healing the Doctor could bring. So instead of trying to be healed from the sickness, you just became an addict to the medicine. A chronically sick person, who spent there time coping and surviving- instead of thriving.
As silly as it seems that we would choose the medicine instead of meeting the healer, many of us make the decision to live with an illness every day instead of being healed. The disease is sin and the result is death. Sin is a disease that brings mistrust, disobedience, misery, pain, grief, selfishness, pride. Sin makes us feel like we are worth nothing. Sin lets Satan whisper to us his lies that we are not good enough. We are not worthy to be loved. We must perform to measure up. We must be better for Him to love us. So we begin to feel sad, lonely, and depressed. We need some medicine..
This medicine comes in many forms as this disease is chronic and widespread. Television shows, music, pornography, food, caffeine, relationships, productivity, sleep, laziness, gossip, cutting, alcohol.. the list could go on. These things promise temporary relief. They act as a crutch for us to help numb the pain.
But instead of making us feel better, instead of reminding us our identity as Christ's child. Instead of giving us more joy, these fake medications make us slaves to our behaviors, our shame, and make us feel guilty instead of free. They take us away from Jesus. They strip of us our self worth. And as we desire to take the medications more and more, we realize that they will never be enough to heal our disease. And yet the medications make us feel stuck, stuck inside an addiction or darkness, we can't get out of. We feel ashamed, farther away from Jesus, so we ingest more and more medicine.
Thankfully friends, there is a healer for our disease. And His name is Jesus. He can free us from whatever sin, whatever struggle, whatever addiction we are facing. He offers full and total freedom, one hundred percent forgiveness. We just have to ask. We have to repent. We have to be willing to stop taking the medicine that is hurting us and start looking to Jesus to set us free. We can have freedom today if we choose to talk to the Healer and re-surrender our lives to Him.
I think we all have a tendency to look for counterfeits, to make crutches, to gain addictions. Because life is hard and we go through challenges, Satan wants to distract us from Christ. He uses anything He can to trip us up over and over again- he knows our weaknesses and tries to tell us lies that cut to our core.
We will all break sometimes. We all fall short. We all have sin. There's no point in pretending, that we are not all struggling with one thing or another. I hate it when we put one sin or addiction of a pedistool (for example: drinking or pornography) and then choose to ignore other sins.
Addictions can sometimes start small, and it can often be the little things that cause us to slip away, from a deeper relationship with God.
One of the first steps in overcoming any addiction or sin is awareness. The Bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit will convict us of things in our lives that we need to change (John 16:8). But the reality is that with many of the addictions I spoke about above, we know when we are doing them, that they are bad and we choose to do them anyways. James 5:16 says "Confess your sins to one another and pray for each other that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." After we realize we are struggling with an addiction, we need to reach out to God and other Christian mentors for help. We need to pray for God to change our hearts, and as friends lift us up in prayer, we receive power from above to overcome our temptations and addictions.
This is the good news friends, Jesus has the power to change our hearts. Jesus can free you from any addiction. 1 Corinthians 10: 13 says And when you are tempted He will provide a way out, so that you can overcome it. And James 4:7 says "Therefore submit yourselves to God, Resist the devil and He will flee from you."