I am an addict
It's very hard for me to admit that I'm addicted. Throughout my life I have lied to myself and my environment. Along the way, I've come across many addicts who depend on things like alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, tobacco, Facebook and many other drugs. Fortunately, one day, I could face the truth. I am addicted. I need help!
The results of the addiction are always the same for everyone I have observed. Your body and life situation begin to deteriorate. The relationships of the addicts were completely destroyed. The only friends left for the addicts, if you can call them that, are drug dealers or suppliers of alcohol. Some of the addicts are completely enslaved by their drug dealers through prostitution, crimes and other illegal activities. For example, Thandeka prostituted herself (Name changed) for food and drugs from her pimp until someone saved her from this terrible life. The addict's thinking is also affected. Some start hallucinating, seeing and hearing things that don't exist. A life of drugs is the only thing that matters to them. They actually start to believe in their hopelessness and talk to themselves, drugs are good and should be legalized so that everyone can enjoy them.
Every day a fight
All the people I know who made it out of addiction recognize their predicament and dependency and find someone who takes pity on them and brings them straight from the drug lair to the rehabilitation center. I met people who run an addiction treatment center. Many of them are ex-dependents. They are the first to admit that even after 10 years without drugs every day remains a fight to stay clean.
My kind of addiction
My addiction started with my ancestors. Someone told them to eat from a certain plant because it would make them wise. No, the plant was not cannabis, nor was it the coca plant that made cocaine. But she had similar consequences for her. They fell out of the relationship with their father and believed the lie. After eating from this plant, their bodies became addictive. I inherited the addiction from them.
Let me tell you how I found out about my addiction. When my brother, the apostle Paul, realized that he was addicted, he started to write letters to his brothers and sisters to warn us against the addiction. Alcohol addicts are referred to as alcoholics, others as junkies, crackpots or dopers. Those with my kind of addiction are called sinners.
In one of his letters Paul said: "Therefore, just as sin came into the world through a man and death through sin, death got through to all people because they all sinned» (Romans 5,12). Paul realized that he was a sinner. Because of his addiction, his sin, he was busy killing his brothers and putting others in jail. In his depraved, addictive (sinful) behavior he thought he was doing something good. Like all addicts, Paul needed someone to show him that he needed help. One day when he was on a murderous trip to Damascus, Paul met the man Jesus (Acts 9,1: 5). His whole life's work was to free addicts like me from our addiction to sin. He came to the house of sin to take us out. Like the man who went to the brothel to get Thandeka out of prostitution, he came and lived among us sinners so that he could help us.
Accept Jesus' help
Unfortunately, at the time Jesus was living in the house of sin, some thought they didn't need His help. Jesus said: "I have not come to call the righteous; I have come to call sinners to repent" (Luke 5,32 New Geneva Translation). Paul came to his senses. He realized that he needed help. His addiction was so strong that even though he wanted to quit, he was doing exactly what he detested. In one of his letters he complained about his condition: "Because I don't know what I do. Because I don't do what I want; I do what I hate" (Romans 7,15). Like most addicts, Paul realized that he couldn't help it. Even when he was in rehab (some sinners call it church), the addiction remained so strong that he could have given up. He realized that Jesus was serious about helping him put an end to this life of sin.
"But I see another law in my limbs that contradicts the law in my mind and keeps me trapped in the law of sin that is in my limbs. I miserable person! Who will save me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So now I serve with the mind the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin » (Romans 7,23-25).
Like marijuana, cocaine or heroin makes this sinful drug addictive. If you have seen an alcoholic or drug addict, you will have realized that they are totally dependent and enslaved. You have lost control of yourself. If no one offers them help and they do not realize they need help, they will perish because of their addictions. When Jesus offered help to some sinful people like me, some thought they were not slaves to anything or anyone.
Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him: «If you keep my word, you will truly be my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. Then they answered him: We are Abraham's descendants and have never been anyone's servant. How do you say: You should be free? » (John 8,31-33)
A drug addict is a slave to the drug. He no longer has the freedom to decide whether to take the drug or not. The same applies to sinners. Paul complained that he knew he shouldn't sin, but he did exactly what he didn't want to do. Jesus answered them and said: "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave to sin" (John 8,34).
Jesus became human to free people from this slavery of sin. "Christ has freed us for freedom! Therefore stand firm and do not let yourself be forced under the yoke of slavery again!" (Galatians 5,1 New Geneva Translation) See, when Jesus was born human, he came to change our humanity so that we are no longer sinful. He lived without sin and never became a slave. He now offers "sin-free humanity" to all people free of charge. That's the good news.
Recognize the addiction
About 25 years ago, I realized that I am addicted to sin. I realized that I was a sinner. Like Paul, I realized that I needed help. Some recovering addicts told me there was a rehab center there. They told me if I came, I could be encouraged by those who also tried to leave a life of sin behind. I started attending their meetings on Sundays. It was'nt easy. I still sin from time to time, but Jesus told me to focus on his life. He took my sinful life and made it his own and he gave me his sinless life.
I live the life that I now live by trusting in Jesus. This is Paul's secret. He writes: "I was crucified with Christ. I live, but now not me, but Christ lives in me. Because what I now live in the flesh, I live in faith in the Son of God, who loved me and for himself surrendered to me " (Galatians 2,20).
I have realized that I have no hope in this addictive body. I need a new life. I died with Jesus Christ on the cross and rose with him in the resurrection to a new life in the Holy Spirit and became a new creation. In the end, however, he will give me a brand new body that will no longer be enslaved to sin. He lived his whole life without sin.
You see the truth, Jesus has already freed you. Knowledge of the truth liberates. "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free" (John 8,32). Jesus is the truth and life! You don't have to do anything so that Jesus can help you. In fact, he died for me when I was still a sinner. "Because by grace you are saved by faith, and not from you: it is God's gift, not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his work, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in it » (Ephesians 2,8: 10).
I know a lot of people look down on addicts and even judge them. Jesus does not do this. He said he came to save sinners, not to judge them. "Because God did not send his son into the world to judge the world, but to save the world through him" (John 3,17).
Accept the Christmas present
If you are affected by an addiction, ie sin, you may know and realize that God loves you very much with or without addiction problems. The first step to recovery is to break away from your self-imposed independence from God and into total dependence on Jesus Christ. Jesus fills in your emptiness and your shortcoming, which you have filled up with something other than spare. He fills it with himself through the Holy Spirit. The total dependence on Jesus makes them completely independent of everything else!
The angel said: "Mary will give birth to a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1,21). The Messiah who brings salvation that has been sought for centuries is now here. "The Savior was born to you today, who is Christ the Lord in the city of David" (Luke 2,11). The greatest gift from God for you personally! Merry Christmas!
by Takalani Musekwa