Christian: God is Love (2015)
Chapter 3: The Temptation of Life
My drug addiction isn’t filling the hole
People who feel shy and they are hurting or escaping a tragic loss of a loved one may turn to drugs. They turn to drugs thinking an outside substance will fill the hurt or loneliness caused by that emptiness inside. Mind altering drugs are a common source people will turn to. They think the drugs will change their destructive thinking patterns. When people use mind altering drugs they temporarily escape their negative thought patterns and feel temporarily free from their emotional prison cells. The problem with using these powerful drugs is they are highly addictive.
The initial euphoria and numbing effect it has on their brain will require higher dosages each time to achieve the same mental escape. The drug addiction pulls the person into a self-destructive cycle that just amplifies the emptiness found inside. The person will fill a deeper sense of emptiness anytime they are not high on their drug of choice. The drug addiction can have many adverse effects on the drug user, their family and their finances. The drug addiction will not fill the emptiness people feel. It will only temporarily Band-Aid the hole inside. Ultimately the drug addiction will leave the person feeling deeply depressed possibly suicidal.
Offering Christianity to a deeply hurting soul by sharing how the Christian came out of a drug addiction can be powerful. The Christian can gently but firmly share with the person what destructive effects the drugs had on their lives. How it didn’t feel their emptiness. Sharing the founder of Christianity, Jesus, with them in a manner they can relate to can be life-changing. The Christian can tell how they embraced Christianity and God filled them with His hope and love. This hope and love was the only true way they were filled and healed from their emptiness. This conversation with a hurting drug user can be so powerful if the Christian is sensitive to needs of that person.
Pornography is filling my emptiness
Pornography isn’t thought of as an addiction like obvious ones such as alcohol or drugs. People think they can watch pornography and walk away from it anytime. This isn’t the case because pornography can be destructive and destroy the user and all intimate relationships he is connected to. Pornography brings a false sense of fulfillment and intimacy which can never be achieved. The initial exposure will bring a rush but that will eventually wear off.
Pornography users would need to attend recovery like people who suffer from other addictions. They need to have their minds healed and re-trained to think normally again. Pornography will alter the mind of the user as the addiction becomes stronger and stronger to break. Once the person is entrenched in pornography they need more and more of it each viewing. They have reached the point of not being able to quit on their own. Pornography can leave such a strong impression on the memory that the user can go months without watching pornography, but the images will still be imprinted on their mind like they just saw them.
Pornography leaves the user feeling emptier then when he started indulging in it. Pornography users withdraw into themselves and isolate from their partners. They become emotionally alienated from human relationships. Jesus of Christianity is the only One who can truly save a user from pornography and heal his mind, heart and emotions making him whole again. Pornography will never satisfy the human soul because the user will need more and more to fill the hunger that pornography never can.
Christians are just as empty as the rest of us
By looking at Christians outwardly people could say they are as empty as anyone. But a person needs to look deeper into a Christian’s life to see that they really aren’t empty at all. A person who has encountered Christianity for the first time found that Jesus Christ comes to live inside of them. Here is what the bible says about this transaction when it happens:
Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3
Someone who has become integrated with Christianity recently has become “Born-again”. Jesus said a person must become born again to see the Kingdom of God and when a person accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior they become a new creation in Christ. This means that God makes them a new person on the inside. God by re-creating their inner nature makes it possible for God to come and dwell inside that person. Thus Christians once they become Christians are never empty again. They now have God living in them which will keep any person full and never they will never feel empty again.
Sex is the Spice of Life
Yes sex is the spice of a loving relationship between a married man and woman. Then the two become one as they share the deepest part of themselves with one another. Sex outside the context of marriage will really never satisfy those who participate in it. It can have many adverse effects that people don’t think about before they have sexual relations.
Physical consequences can be many from this union between a man and woman. HIV virus is rampant in the world today and this virus could be caught by those engaging in sex outside marriage. Other sexually transmitted diseases may be the result as well. Hiv can be deadly eventually to the recipient. People think it will never happen to them but they just never know. It is not worth the risk for the momentary pleasure.
Relational damage can occur between couples when they have pre martial sex. How do they know they will ever get married? They do get married will they stay faithful to one another in the marriage relationship. Deep down inside the trust between the couples will never be there again. They had sex before marriage they may have outside sex in marriage. They didn’t have self- control before marriage who says they will control themselves after marriage? The intimacy and trust between couples will never develop in a pre-martial sexual relationship.
Last but certainly not least what if the couple have an unwanted child out of their sexual union? They don’t want the child or they cannot support the child. Then an abortion may occur and the life of the baby is taken. Now the couple has to face the terrible guilt that will follow from taking an innocent life. Sex outside marriage is too risky and it is not worth all the damage that will occur after the fact.
Who needs Christianity I don’t feel empty?
There was a popular Christian song performed by “Plumb” several years ago. One of the lines went something like this: “Everyone has a God-sized hole inside of them.” The singer was referring to every person who isn’t a Christian has an empty void inside of them that can only truly be filled by Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Today, people think they are filled and they have no need for Christianity. They look a little deeper within and they will find they really are empty. This is why people seek other external things (some internal things) to try and fill that emptiness that lies within their inner beings. They turn to drugs, alcohol, crime, sex and false spiritual journeys. These activities may bring them temporary satisfaction but it will never fill the emptiness inside permanently. People will spend all kinds of money and travel anywhere in the world to try and find inner peace.
The Bible has to say this about truly finding lasting inner peace:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
Here Jesus was talking about the supernatural peace He gives. Anyone who wants to be introduced to Christianity can have this supernatural inner peace Jesus gives. The world (or everything outside Christianity) cannot give this type of inner peace. Jesus is the only one who can give a person this inner peace that will fill a person with calm and assurance.
Do Christians have addictions?
Yes clearly Christians can bring addictions into their Christianity or they can make wrong choices. Wrong choices that can trap them in addictive behaviors. Choices that will lead them into disobedience to God. Christians have free wills like everyone else. They can choose to start watching pornography or commit adultery or fornication. (Single people having sex before they are married). The Christian can choose to become re-addicted to drugs.
There was a true story about a Christian minister who was a drug addict. He became a Christian and stopped using Cocaine. He loved God very much. He had a loving and dedicated wife. Years into their marriage they decided to move to another state from California. The minister went to work in a vacuum shop. He started hanging out in pool halls then he started snorting cocaine again. His wife pleaded with him to stop his drug addiction but he refused. The minister lost his wife and the never stopped using Cocaine as far as this author knows. The point is that he was a Christian and a minister. He fell back into his old drug addiction .So yes Christians can have addictions if they choose to practice an addictive behavior again or for the first time.
What do Christians think about temptations and addictions?
Christians should think about temptations and addictions like God does. Here is what God thinks about temptations and addictions:
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21
The above bible verse is very clear as to what God thinks and (what Christians should think) about addictions and temptations. The Christian should flee from the “works of the flesh” which will lead the believer into temptations and addictions. “Works of the flesh” mean any thinking or behavior that doesn’t line up with how God wants Christians to live.
Christians are to think and live in such a way that they don’t get tangled up in addictive or tempting behavior. When they think on a temptation too long or an addiction, eventually they will act out that particular snare. The bible also says this about the proper way Christians are to think:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
In other words Christians should think about God and His goodness being thankful for all He has provided for them. The Bible is full of positive and encouraging things for the Christian to think about. Christians should meditate on the bible so their minds will become trained to think on the things the above verse addresses. Over a period of time the Christian’s mind (with God’s help) can be trained to not think in destructive thought patterns. They will have the ability to overcome damaging thinking patterns that would otherwise lead them into addictive or tempting behavior. This is how Christians are to think about addictions and temptations.