Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Addiction: Reflections on Serving Worldly Masters

1 Corinthians 6:12
“Everything is permissible for me”-but not everything is beneficial.  “Everything is permissible for me”-but I will not be mastered by anything.”

Are you an addict?  I am.  24 hours without coffee and I’m a grouch with a head that feels the size of New York.  Caffeine gets me up in the morning and keeps me going in the afternoon.  It is part of my morning routine and pity the fool who gets between me and what I crave.  I waste money on it, money I could be saving for good things like healthy food and rent.  I will dig between couch cushions for change in order to scrounge up 50 cents for the vending machine.  Caffeine is quite often my master, and really, it’s not the only thing.  My hormones, food, my desire for comfort… all these things cause me to step on others, grow irritable, become defensive…forget my true purpose in life: to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  If the very thought of having to give up something makes me squirm, makes me want to defend myself and my desire for it, then I am addicted to it; I worship it; I honor it above the Lord.

“No one can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”  Matthew 6:24

What command of God makes you feel as if He’s just being stingy and unfair?  What do you cling to with all your might?  Is it something obvious like alcohol, nicotine, pornography, or money?  Or is it something a little more subtle; like caffeine, control, the approval of others, or even maybe social anxiety that so makes you want to separate yourself from someone that you belittle them?  We all have worldly masters, masters that want to enslave and destroy us along with our relationships with others.  Only one Master can make us free, and only He can break our chains.  Ok, cheesy metaphor, yes, but it’s also true.  Christ gave up His rights, did not demand what He deserved (true justice; vengeance), but rather broke our chains on the cross, declared us free in the record books, and by the power of His Holy Spirit we are enabled to fight the things that master us (John 16:7).

Examine your life.  What masters you?  Stop.  Don’t think about someone else’s addiction/master think about yours.  What “right” or even “freedom in Christ” do you cling to that might just be mastering you?  What do you need freedom from?

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