Addiction for me, metaphorically speaking, looks like a dark cellar in the bottom of my heart. Most areas, since Christ came into it, are bright and filled with light. And color. And good things. This one room is not.
It’s grimy and dirty and covered from entrance to dead-end wall, the rock bottom, if you will, with mud. Spiders live there. Bats. Slimy things. It is devoid of light and the only time light enters it is when He enters it. And that is not often, for I am the one who has to let Him in.
Jesus does not often come into the room of my addiction, but I often do. Why, might you wonder, would I spend so much time alone there when the good rooms of his love are available for my dwelling every single day? I myself do not fully know. And that is why it is an addiction. Addictions are the places you willfully go that you do not want to go. They are the places from which you cannot, on your own strength, stay away
If we are addicted to a particular sin after Christ has offered us goodness instead, it’s a little bit like this video:
We could eat anything we want of his glory and we still decide day after day to go back to the ashes of our comfort and the brokenness of our dark places. It’s just. plain. gross.
I’ve come a long way from the place I was of not even knowing or acknowledging that I had an addiction. Today it’s obvious to me. Glaringly obvious. Having to admit that my “pet sins” were actually an addiction was one of the ugliest, grossest, and scariest things I’ve had to do since I gave my life to Christ.
Suddenly isolated incidents that I, in the past, would joke about or even brag about, had a new name and were part of a bigger problem. Little sins were things I thought I could control. I knew an addiction wasn’t.
For the past year or so, I focused on managing the behaviors of the addiction. I shut the door on the black hole, so to say. I did pretty good at staying away from it. But when something traumatic happened, I’d always slink back to it, open the door, and spend hours if not days living back in the darkness. Sometimes I didn’t even mean to go inside–I’d just be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I never put up a warning sign on the door. Sometimes I forgot how gross it was, or thought that maybe I could walk inside without falling down, or getting dirty. Every time, I was wrong.
What’s obvious to me now is that this room can’t stay here any longer. It doesn’t need to be sealed up and forgotten. It needs a demolition. It needs to be gutted from the inside out–each dirty stone pushed over; the walls destroyed, the floor ripped up, the ceiling repainted, the whole thing renamed.
I can’t do that. I don’t have the strength to knock one rock down by myself. Only Jesus, through the work of His hands, His church, and The Holy Spirit can do that. Only He can rebuild my spirit, reshape my mind, and heal my body. My job is to surrender and let Him in.