Webster’s defines an addict as someone who devotes or surrenders (oneself) to something habitually or obsessively. I have never thought of myself as an addict, but while in prayer recently I found myself repenting…not of a specific sin, but of the fact that much of my life has always been about me. I have lived too many moments focused on what I want to do, how I want to feel, or what I’d like to have. I repented of my addiction to me.
More than 72,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2017. Studies estimate more than 20 million Americans suffer from drug and alcohol addiction while another 10 million are addicted to gambling. Americans are suffering today from addictions of all kinds, but perhaps it’s the unspoken addiction to self that is the most dangerous of them all because it comes with an eternal consequence.
All addictions, whether drugs, alcohol, sex, or something else are designed by the enemy to take our freedom; to enslave us. “Take our freedom from what?”, you might ask. Addictions take our freedom to live the lives we were born to live…the lives where we use the gifts God has given each of us to love and serve others so they can know Him. I have never felt more peace, joy, or settled and rooted in my purpose than when I’m focused on other people instead of myself. Unfortunately, if I added up the minutes of my life when I focused on myself and compared it to the time I’ve focused on serving others, I fear it wouldn’t even be close. And I suspect that to be the same for most of us here in America because we’ve forgotten that God created us to live for more than just the American Dream.
Addictions are bondage; weapons of the enemy to “steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10), but Jesus has given us freedom so that we may have life.
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” – Galatians 5:13 NIV
Pray this with me today: Father, I ask you to forgive me now for living so much of my life focused on what I want and how I feel. Forgive me for every opportunity I’ve missed to speak a kind word, to meet a material need, or to sacrifice my time for someone and just listen. Forgive me of my addiction to me. Help me to live the rest of my life, starting now, more focused on others than myself. Help me to live my purpose.