I’ve been off the grid for a few weeks while I prepared for teaching in Haiti. Then there was the actual missions trip (18 days) and putting my life back together – not to speak of my office when I returned!
In the past I’ve sometimes written from Haiti but this trip we only had sporadic use of wifi. At times we went two to three days between connections. Talk about withdrawal systems! I didn’t realize what going without wifi for a couple of days would do to a group of Americans. Technology is great but we seemed to have reached a point of addiction – at least if my experience was typical of the average Americans.
That brings up an interesting thought. Is addiction always wrong or is there a time when it’s actually a good thing?
Waiting on my desk when I returned was a letter about a seminar on addiction. It dealt mostly with alcohol and drug addiction. But there are many other forms of addictions. Those who study addictions report the following statistics in the United States:
Alcohol Addiction 14,000,000
Cocaine Addiction 2,000,000
Meth Addiction 1,400,000
Heroin Addiction 800,000
Gambling Addiction 15,000,000
Porn Addiction 4,000,000
Tobacco Addiction 83,400,000
Food Addiction 8,000,000
Sexual Addiction 12,000,000 (and no ladies it’s not just a man problem!)
The list of addictions is long and includes workaholics, compulsive spenders, TV and video game addicts, and other less well-known addictions.
It seems like everyone is addicted to something.
Therapists list six signs of addiction:
1. Importance. How important is this to your life? What priority does it have in your life?
2. Reward response. Does doing it make you feel better and not doing it worse?
3. Prevalence. Do you want to do it more often?
4. Cessation. Do you feel uncomfortable if you do not do it for a period of time?
5. Disruption. Does it mean that you have to reorder your life in some way?
6. Reverting. Do you try to stop but find yourself doing it anyway?
As Christians we tend to think that all addictions are wrong and damaging. And for the most part that’s true. But think again about addiction.
Aren’t there some things that Christians should be addicted to? What about . . .
Living like Jesus
Reading your Bible
Going to Church
Sharing your Faith
Loving other people
Shouldn’t these things be Important, make us feel better (IE loved by God)? Shouldn’t we want to do them more often and shouldn’t not doing them make us feel uncomfortable? And shouldn’t we reorder our lives to make them priorities and find it next to impossible not to do them?
I recognize that using the word addiction may be over the top, however, I think you get my point. Too often as Christians we take the things that are important to our spiritual lives too lightly. We’re not addicted to them the way we should be.
The Apostle Paul’s encouragement to us is to let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27). If we’re going to live in a way that is worthy of God it’s going to take some effort, some work, maybe even some addiction.
Stay in the Word
You can read more about addiction here