I was up late last night unable to sleep….I’ve always been “night owl” as God brought back to me in the midst of my complaints last night (well early this morning rather). So I resolved to just relax and enjoy the alone time, watch a few shows hopefully until I dozed off. I happened to turn on the show “Intervention” and watched about three episodes last night before I was finally able to sleep and as I was watching God began to speak to me.
Addiction, in all forms, are a form of bondage. People can be addicted to food, drugs, sex, people, etc – you name it, you can get addicted to it if you are not careful. The common factor in the majority (not all) of addictions are the childhood. If you see an addict, trust there is a story there of pain, abandonment, abuse, bullying, hurt…and most importantly – a feeling of being unloved.
I watched these individuals last night, recognizing the demons that attack them and feeling so sad as they told their stories…. In every single account the childhood was the starting point, the current addiction was just the coping method.
I saw a movie that said “Childhood is what you spend your entire life trying to overcome” (Hope Floats, 1998) and as I watched this show I never found anything (except God) to be truer. Each of these addicts talked about the pain they had as a child…everyone said the same thing “they were great children…something happened with mommy and daddy…and then they felt unloved, unaccepted, and turned to drugs to cope. The saddest thing was the family’s inability to help the individual heal because for them to heal would mean the family would have to take accountability for their own actions.
God warns us against certain actions in our life not to restrict us but because we really don’t understand or take the time to realize how easily our consequences can affect others and ourselves. We don’t see the full scale fallout from sin…and we can’t see the internal damage and hurtful seeds it plants in those around us. A mother/father skips out on a family, leaving children feeling unwanted/unloved/worthless, a child is sexually abused but blamed and even shunned, more feelings of worthlessness, a broken home without boundaries, bullying, emotional and physical abuse, parents working to much loving to little…all these things create wounds that we cannot see and therefore, don’t know how to heal. Or in some cases, don’t care to.
All these things, every one of our actions…affects others – especially the sin in our lives. One action can change an entire life for the positive or the negatives. I believe this to be the reason God requires us to live and act in love towards all people because doing the opposite develops hurt and pain that translates into all type of demons that can take decades to heal. John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” We see them in our own lives as we try to overcome the things that happened to us as children…and if we aren’t under God’s authority, we will more than likely pass those things onto our children as well.
I watched these children on “Intervention” each of them with the same sad eyes, lost children trying to overcome and numb the pain. Convincing themselves they are happy but understanding this not to be true every time the drugs wear off and they have to deal with reality. I’ve lived that life where you are in so much pain it’s better to simply medicate and live in a haze than to confront the issues and cope. But the former life is not the better life. The addiction is only a temporary band aid – a cheap one to be exact- that often falls off and has to be reapplied with more and more adhesive each time until finally the wound is too big to be contained by it. This is why there is such anger and depression when you come down from your high (be it drugs, sex, money, risk taking – whatever the addiction) and you can’t seem to find any joy.
We have to become more accountable for our actions – not only toward ourselves – but especially to those around us. Because God will hold us accountable for the harm we’ve done to others and whatever came of that harm during judgment. This goes for parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, family friends, etc. – we will all be accountable for any actions we did that caused another to stumble and fall away from God. “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 18:6
Remember, in all you do, in all you have done…. “Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14 this is our greatest commandment…and love surely does heal all wounds.