I’ve seen the worst of addiction as a pastor. And I’ve seen the Holy Spirit do incredible
works of redemption, recovery, and reconciliation among addicts. About 15 years ago, a faithful
church member wanted to “talk,” and I could tell it would be a serious discussion. He confessed
his sin of a secret (and frankly shocking) addiction. The disease that formed in his body
because of the addiction began taking his life. He died a few years later due to the
consequences of his actions, but he died clean. And he died with hope.
We’re starting a new series on Sunday. Perhaps a series on addiction is a little hard-hitting for
the New Year. But I believe it’s important. Why this series? Addiction is pervasive, and the
church doesn’t talk about it enough. Maybe you’ve been wounded by the addiction of someone
close to you. Maybe you are struggling with addiction.
Addiction begins as a worship problem and ends up replacing God with idols. Consider Romans
They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created
instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. (NLT)
Do you want to know how to make beautiful things ugly? Worship them as God. Addiction at the
core is worshiping something created instead of the Creator. Addiction values the substance
more than God. Addiction worships the experience instead of God. We don’t worship the value
of creation. We value the worship of the Creator.
Addiction is a compulsive and chronic need for habit-forming substances or behaviors that harm
individuals and those around them. Addiction always over-promises and under-delivers. For
some, it’s substances. For others, it’s personal glory, like chasing beauty or success. For others,
it’s the greed of materialism or wealth. Addiction is the sin of consumption you cannot stop
despite obvious, real, imminent, and dire consequences.
We will cover many aspects of addiction in this series. On Sunday, we will lay the theological
foundation for the practical guidance to overcome addiction. My goal is not to focus on the
symptoms of addiction or even the fallout of addiction. Instead, I want to get to the root of what’s
happening. The further you drift from God, the more worthless you feel. Let me be clear: You
are never worthless to God, but Satan will make you feel that way.
This series aims to demonstrate how in Christ you have a hope you can never lose. Addiction
takes so much. But Christ gives eternally more.