Addictions In The Life of a Believer

My last post asking if gays can be Christian seemed to stir up a lot of emotions bringing up the age old controversial question, “Is a person really saved if they continue in sin?”

The bible teaches us to repent, meaning to turn from your sins, yet I have personally seen professing Christians continue in their sins even after standing before all and publicly professing Jesus as their savior.

Why… Addiction!

We have it in our mind that addictions are reserved only to the drug addict or the drunk, but addictions are not that simple, anything taken to extreme can turn into an addiction, and can be as detrimental as drugs or as innocent as day dreaming. There is a wide variety of addictions; cigarettes, food, sex or even Facebook, also some that are unsuspecting such as; reading books or coin collecting.

What makes each of these things an addiction is when it takes over your life as more important than your dedication to Jesus, your family or your health.

Before we turn our life over to Jesus we all have certain addictions which we had placed in our life in order to cope, it is Gods goal to be our coping mechanism instead and He asks us in His time to let them go, but we still have free will to choose to let them go or not!

Some people have been blessed by having Jesus miraculously take away all their addictions when they are saved, but for most of us He wants to teach us faith by trusting Him to be our everything.

Usually the first addictions He asked us to break is smoking and cursing, some choose to let them go, some do not, is their salvation now in question because they continue to curse or smoke?

Even though God views the sin of homosexuality as an abomination (Leviticus18:22) it still is a coping mechanism the devil told them was necessary to make them happy in life, just like food, cigarettes or a career.

Am I lumping smoking and homosexuality into the same category? The Bible says in Romans 14:23, whatever is not from faith is sin. If you can say God is ok with your smoking then it is not sin but if He has told you to lay them down and you have chosen not to, then yes, it is sin.

According to Harvard Medical School, “Addiction changes the brain first by subverting the way it registers pleasure and then by corrupting other normal drives such as learning and motivation.”

When first tempted with the vice it gives your brain an adrenalin rush which feels amazing, then you spend the rest of your life searching for that same feeling to no avail, all the while the body becomes dependent on that action making it almost impossible to stop.

For me cigarettes went from one every few days to 3 and ½ packs a day, that simple first puff of a cigarette became an addiction! Being saved during that addiction to cigarettes, God in His grace did not tell me to give them up for 4 years, and I guarantee that I was still saved during those 4 years.

There is no way aside from a miracle that I could have quit smoking the moment I was saved, and it is the same for anyone’s vice. God does not ask the person to immediately give up something He knows they are dependent on, but takes the time to build their  faith and trust in Him before asking them to lay the action down. Do not suppose God is letting anyone get away with unholiness, He is a holy God demanding holiness, but also a loving compassionate God who in His wisdom knows the depth of the devil’s snare.

Who are we to suppose the inner workings of the Holy Spirit in the homosexual or anyone else’s life? “Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:4

The stipulation for salvation is not based on a person’s ability to give up everything in their life that God finds offensive, but is based on the blood covering of Jesus’ sacrifice. He’s the only one ever to go through life without being mastered by addiction. Our perfect sacrifice!

Father, thank you for Jesus and your plan of salvation. Thank you Jesus that you were able to live your life without being overcome by addiction and that in your grace you tolerate our sins until we are able to give them up for you. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen