I like to think I call the shots in my life.
Of course, being husband to one lady and father to six ladies we all know that my “call” gets lost in the estrogen echo… but still… I like to think I call the shots. 😉
So this morning I was reading a letter that St. Peter wrote to a group of Christians who were being infiltrated by manipulative teachers and leaders. They were teaching some pretty crazy stuff that was leading people to make decisions that were not so healthy. The result of these decisions was a string of addictions.
Peter was writing fast and furious against these leaders and their teaching and said this…
“You are a slave to whatever controls you.” (2 Peter 2:19)
I have a friend/mentor who has spent the last several years of his life working with addicts. He has come to the conclusion that everyone is addicted to something! I think he’s right!
In case you’re wondering, Wikipedia says that addiction is, “the continued repetition of a behavior despite adverse consequences….”
Do you agree that everyone is addicted to something?
Take a look at your life. What is it that “controls” you? What’s your addiction? Is it a need for approval? Food? Facebook? Exercise? Gambling? Porn? Alcohol? Work?
If you are an addict… then you are a slave! You are a slave because you cannot do what you want to do… you are bound to do what your master (aka your addiction) demands of you!
So how do you break free? How do I break free?
Peter, in his letter, gives us the answers! Below is what Peter said, and a few comments from Paul (not St. Paul… this Paul). My comments are in bold.
This letter is from Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ. [Look at how Peter described himself… “a slave of Jesus.” He was addicted to Jesus! A hard core follower of Jesus! He kept doing what Jesus taught and asked of him! He was a Jesus-addict!]
I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. This faith was given to you because of the justice and fairness of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior.
2 May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.
3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. [WHOA!!! God has given us what we need to “escape the world’s corruption caused by human desire!” That sounds like Peter is saying we have the seed of what it takes to break free from our addictions! There is hope for every addict because of some promises that God has given us!]
5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. [“Make every effort to respond to God’s promises!” God has provided you with everything you need… now believe that and “add to your faith” some action which will lead to freedom from addictions and a new way of life! And then look at what happens…
8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins. [“Productive”… “useful”… two words that are not often used to describe addicts, but words that can be used to describe you and me!]
10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. [Believe and act… “and you will never fall away”! That’s a great place to be… free and secure!]
Great hope for addicts like me and you! Here’s to the hope of freedom and a new way of life!