Addiction and Grace

7So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming conceited.Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:7b-9a

ADDICTION: frequently, repeatedly, compulsively and habitually attaching one’s self to anything or anyone other than God for the purpose of seeking pleasure, relief, happiness, security and/or contentment.  The result of addiction is our freedom is compromised and our focus on God eclipsed.

GRACE: the dynamic ever flowing unexpected love and goodness of God to people without condition and merit.  Grace is the active expression of God’s unconditional and undeserved love demonstrated by and appropriated via faith in Jesus Christ: His death and resurrection.

GRACE is our only hope for effectively dealing with ADDICTION

  • Brett immediately enjoyed drinking alcohol.  It began as a teenager when he felt temporary relief from his struggles, problems and anxiety at a party one night after drinking several cans of beer.  His drinking escalated ever since as he sought the temporary relief that alcohol provides.
  • Aubrey is a successful business woman, but is a compulsive overeater.  She appears happy on the outside, but abhors herself on the inside because she cannot control her weight and her compulsive eating.  She eats to relieve the inner pain brought on by struggles and anxiety of life.
  • Blaine is a man of moderation except for his work. His need for approval from peers and his constant worries about money and financial security has turned him into a workaholic.  He also finds that the time and energy spent working is effective in avoiding relationships with his wife and children. He finds relief from the problems and anxiety of life when consumed with work.
  • Dana has discovered that worry is an effective way to avoid responsibilities and dealing with issues.  Having a special needs granddaughter has given her the opportunity to worry whenever problems arise.  Dana habitually worries to relieve the pain brought on by the struggles and anxiety of life. She escapes her personal problems through constant worry.
  • Carter frequently escapes into the world of fantasy when the pressures and stress of life arise.  As a teenager, he found it to be a temporary way of escape from the turmoil of his dysfunctional family.  On especially difficult days he spends late nights on the internet soaking in images feeding his fantasies which provide temporary relief from the problems and anxiety of life.
  • Tatum is unable to cope with the many failures in her life.  She feels relief whenever she receives compliments and approval from others.  Therefore, she spends most of her public life seeking approval from her co-workers, family and friends in order to feel good about herself.
  • Toby got hooked on heroine the first time he tried it.  The euphoria, relief and intense temporary happiness a heroine high provided, prompted him to seek it regularly. Heroine is now his means of escape from the realities and problems of life.

These fictitious Christian people have at least two things in common: Addiction and a Compromised Relationship with God.  Maybe you see yourself in one of these people or in someone you love.  Addictions are common and destructive.  Only God can heal us from our addictions.  We invite you to come on Sundays May 15, 22 & 29 for a sermon series called:  ADDICTION and GRACE. Bring a friend or family member.  See you in church!