How do you explain addicts?

An atheist e-friend of mine said to me “I think that in fact you are slightly envious of us, because we walk free of the burdens you have put on yourself”. And I asked him “how could a person who’s addicted to sin be free”? Another replied and said “You should know better than anyone, you can’t tell me you don’t miss those prossies”, referring to my testimony to them that I used to pay for prostitutes while still in my sins. I replied to him and said “being an atheist is volunteering to be an addict to sin, while committed to defending your position as an addict, and if somebody offers to help you and free you from addiction you ridicule them, so I miss nothing about that life’.

Having said this I thought about all people in my workplace who take 15min smoke breaks every hour, and how they can’t live without smoking even for a couple of hours. I have a friend of mine I went to school with, who told me that he has quit drinking and was very proud of his achievement. An hour later he was fighting me to allow him to have a smoke in my garden, which I refused but it didn’t stop him from smoking. He couldn’t explain how he could quit drinking, but struggle with smoking. Reality is regardless of how atheists (and sinners at large) try to magnify their decision to reject God; it still doesn’t change the fact that their life is a life of bondage.

Apostle Paul explaining this dilemma that atheists are having, said: “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it” (Romans 7:18-20).

Paul’s statement has three implications:

  • Desire to do good

In all of us is a desire to do only things that are good, things that will bring health and prosperity to our lives without hurting other people. We all do not want to engage in any activity that will bring harm to our lives or those of our families or friends. We want to live our lives as morally as we can, and be great examples to our children and all people surrounding us.

  • Failure to carry out our good desires

Even though we have desires to do well; somehow we find ourselves attracted to all the bad activities. There are things we know will bring harm to our bodies and lives in general, yet these same things are the ones we can’t seem to stop doing them. We know cigarettes will damage our lungs and harm the lives of unborn babies, and we are even warned so about these dangers on cigarettes packs, yet we continue to smoke as if nothing will happen to us. We know about the dangers of alcohol especially if we will be driving afterwards, yet this doesn’t affect our decision to take the next beer. To make things worse, there are those who are dependent on alcohol that they just can’t seem to live without it. Some go a step further by being dependent on drugs to get through a day. They don’t care about the consequences of drug abuse, as long as they can get a fix and survive another day. You would be forgiven if you thought people are scared to live, and they are happy if they can just survive another day. Regardless of the severity of HIV/AIDS, people still have sex outside God-given parameters and they don’t have intentions to cease. They look forward to weekends so they can engage in some of the most immoral acts that have serious repercussions, yet they continue unabated. Hence Paul said “the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing”.

  • No longer I who do it

One thing I remember clearly about my life as a sinner during holidays and weekends is the fact that sin used to make me sleep very late in the morning, and cause me to wake up very early as well. I would come back from clubs at around 5am and still have to wake up early so we can prepare parties for the day ahead. You sleep drunk, wake up drunk and continue being drunk the whole night. There was no rest from sin; it was like someone was controlling my life. But isn’t it exactly what Paul says? He says “it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it”.

My friend, your lifestyle is a sign that you are an addict, and something is controlling your life. You disagree? Then you can prove it by refraining from smoking for a month, or keep yourself from sex until your wedding night. But I’m sure you would be incapable of doing it, not because you don’t want to prove it to yourself but because sin has such a great hold on you. Having realized this dilemma, Paul said “what a wretched man I am”. And you my friend are a wretched man; you are a man who can’t help himself from addictions that overcomes your life. Perhaps these addictions are the reasons you rebel against God. Since they control your life, they are probably the ones that move you away from God.

Is there a solution for you? Paul asked the same question, he said “who will rescue me from this body of death?” His answer was found in Jesus Christ, and your only answer to your life of sin and addiction is found in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only One who is capable of giving a person new life that is free from all kinds of addictions. The bible describes this transformation by saying “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”(2 Corinthians 5:17).

Do you have addictions? Jesus is your only hope!

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