“Addiction” might be the best word to help explain the lost, empty and isolated feelings that has deeply infected our culture. The deception of addiction makes us cling to what the world proclaims as vital and necessary for self-fulfillment. Obey your thirst! Do whatever makes you feel good! I am number one!
In 2011, Carl’s Jr., a U.S.-based fast-food restaurant chain, turned to sexy women as the focal point in an advertisement campaign claiming: “We believe in putting hot models in our commercials because ugly ones don’t sell burgers.” They went on to say, “We believe that life is short. So if it feels good, do it, and if it tastes good, eat it.”
Sometimes when we are in pain, we will do anything to feel good—pretending or lying and turning to drugs, denying the problem, drinking, smoking, looking at porn, or taking trips we can’t afford.
We will do anything to quench our thirst from pain. These addictions create expectations that usually fail to satisfy our deepest needs. As long as we live within the world’s delusions, our addictions condemn us to futile searches for freedom and happiness, leaving us to face an endless series of disillusions while our true needs—love, belonging, understanding and acceptance—go unfulfilled.
In these days as our addictions increase, we are wandering further from God, our Father. The addicted life is lived far from our Father’s house, and we are like prodigal children believing that money, sex, and parties will quench our thirst. But only when we come to our senses and face the truth can we begin the trip back home to peace, and to a meaningful life. We must stop squandering our life, living in the delusion that something “out there” is going to fill our hearts.
Addiction robs us of life; it steals our heartbeats when we buy into the idea that succumbing to any human thirst and desire is the answer. Accumulating wealth and power is not the solution either. Seeking status and fame will not heal loneliness. And sexual gratification without discerning between lust and love will be disastrous in the long run.
God is always seeking and willing to find us. In John 10:14, Jesus proclaims: “I know my sheep, and my sheep know my voice.” So one question to ponder as we respond to the addictions in our lives, is not: How to find God? Instead, we might ask ourselves: How can God find me?
God is calling us home. He is asking us to show up fully clothed in our right mind, not trapped in the lies of addiction. He is inviting us to meet Him in our struggle, our pain and fear—and with a bold understanding that He will help us find new solutions to old stories. May God continue to inspire us to support and encourage one another and to travel back home from any addiction.