Friday, December 28, 2007
For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.- Romans 7:14-20Why everything that’s s’posed to bad, make me feel so good?Everything they told me not to, is exactly what I would.Man I tried to stop, man I tried the best I could, but...What’s your addiction, is it money, is it girls, is it weed? I’ve been afflicted by not one, not two, but all three- Kanye West, "Addiction". Our addictions or the compulsory desires of the flesh can create a border wall between ourselves and the divine work we have been called to. We know what we should not do, yet we find ourselves doing it anyway. Some of us struggle with drug addiction which is a hellish condition(my son and husband). Since this kind of bondage is not necessarily common to the average Christian, it becomes easy to rail against it (similar to homosexuality). There was a time when preachers would harp on the sins of fornication and adultery even when they themselves were participating in these activities. Few are willing to be so hypocritical today and many feel that we live in such an oversexed society that strong rebukes against premarital sex do little to deter behavior and are more likely to negatively impact membership numbers.We do not need to shy away from conversations about sexual purity, but need to do so in a more open, honest and realistic way. I believe that money is the drug of choice that often goes unnoticed. Jesus addressed issues of money or what the Bible identifies as "mammon" much more than sex (drugs were a non-issue and wine was the beverage of choice). Christian love is not primarily about emotional connection, but is more so about economics and proximity. To what extent are we willing to share our resources and advocate for a more equitable economic system that diminishes poverty and the suffering that it produces? Are we willing to locate ourselves, so that we directly encounter those who are poor and disadvantaged so that we can affirm their humanity and not just write checks? With so many people in the middle class who also fall into that category that is known as working class, we may not have to go very far to minister to those who are under considerable financial duress. Addictions blind us to the needs of those around us. When we become consumed with getting our next fix which money can always provide; whether it be cocaine, a woman on the side, a new outfit, a nicer car, a bigger house or a private plane we are unable to see our surrounding social reality. When our lives revolve around money and what money can buy it makes us quite useless to God no matter how good of a personal relationship we think we have with Him. So, what's your addiction and what are you going to do about it? Christ is still able to deliver us from ourselves and the oppression of the world through the Spirit of God. The church can either be the facilitator of our liberation or an enabler of our addiction.