Addictions

 

On my way to a doctor’s appointment yesterday I happened to be scanning the radio and one of the morning talks shows mentioned addiction, so I thought it might be interesting. It didn’t take  long to figure out that the addiction they were talking about was sex. This prompted me to continue scanning but I lingered for a moment as the girl being interviewed talked a little bit about what this meant to her.

Just for the record, it never got into any specifics even though the male host kept prying for all the details. That part was really sad, and he was miffed that she kept it clean.

The part that really caught my attention was this girl’s account of how it affected her life. She noted that it was just like being addicted to drugs or alcohol. Sex became the first thing she turned to when life got rough. If she had a bad day a work, she would go shack up with the first guy that was half-way interested. Whenever she had a semi-serious relationship and it started hitting the rocks, her first attempt to solve the problem was to dump the guy and find the next available warm body for instant gratification and an external emotional connection.   She never said it,  but her real longing was for genuine love.

What amazed me was how close the conversation came to letting out the dark secret of addictions: addictions are black holes.

She realized that she was just running from her problems and trying to find a new beginning, a new meaning, a new purpose life that she felt was missing. She described it as a huge hole to fill. And yet every time she filled that hole, she would always come out with the same problems and the hole would still be there, gnawing to be filled. When she gave “the answer” for how to get past  an addiction, it was that the alternative to the addiction needed to be safe and healthy, and that the definition would vary for everyone.  She never really gave an answer.

But that is just the surface issue. They never went any deeper. And while the girl on the show never went into detail about the specific issues and problems that preceded these episodes, it was obvious that she had no method of dealing with these problems.  Hence she had hit a cycle of seeking comfort in the easiest and most readily available method she could find.

The question of addictions really comes down to this question: “What are you wanting so badly that you are willing to disobey God?” People with no relationship to God never consider this question. And it is why they find no satisfaction in the different activities they seek while trying to comfort themselves. The world at large knows this, and yet can’t seem to find the answer. Take the Rolling Stones who nailed it on the head all the way back in 1965:

I can’t get no satisfaction
I can’t get no girl reaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no

When I’m ridin’ round the world
And I’m a doin’ this and I’m signing that
And I’m tryin’ to make some girl
Who tells me baby better come back later next week
‘Cause you see I’m on a losing streak
I can’t get no, oh no no no
Hey hey hey, that’s what I say

I can’t get no, I can’t get no
I can’t get no satisfaction
No satisfaction, no satisfaction, no satisfaction

There is no satisfaction, because everyone looks in the wrong place. An eternal, spiritual, relational void is filled with temporal, physical relationships with people or things that  may initially seem to “satisfy,” but in reality have no lasting fulfillment. The void is still eternal, spiritual, and relational. The only thing that will completely fill and satisfy is a personal relationship with God through Christ:

2 Corinthians 6:18“‘I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me,’ says the Lord Almighty.”

Galatians 3:26, 4:4-5“For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith… when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”

Matthew 11:28  – “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” — Christ

John 6:35“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” — Christ

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, he was buried and he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures”

John 3:15“Whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.”

Jeremiah 31:3 “The LORD appeared to him from far away. ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love…'”

So with an addiction, with something that you turn to for comfort… are you willing to trade a fleeting love that leaves you empty, for a love that will satisfy forever?

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