So, what is yours? We all have them, you know. Some are as mild as spending all day on the internet at your favorite social networking site and others are as severe as losing the mortgage payment at the casino. Life dominating sins are also known as addictions.
Ed Welch, in his excellent book, A Banquet in the Grave, makes the following statement: “The basic theology for addictions is that the root problem goes deeper than our genetic makeup. Addictions are ultimately a disorder of worship.”
Thanks Ed, for saying what I have been saying for years! The truth is that when our desires conflict with Scripture, we do not always live according to what we say we believe. We say we believe, yet our behavior betrays us, and it reveals the real love of our heart.
Christians who struggle with addictions have managed to compartmentalize their hearts and minds. They have a “Sunday heart” that worships God, can sing and praise and really mean everything they do in worship- because at that moment they are really engaged in glorifying God. They also have the “everyday heart” which is what takes over the rest of the time. They worship themselves and they obey their desire to be independent from God and become their own god, living by their own rules and making up their own theology.
Often, these folks don’t see this conflict in their lives. Our propensity toward self-deception is so huge that we often don’t see our dual lives. A counselee may not understand she is attempting to hide a part of herself from God. Psalm 139 reminds us that it is impossible to hide from the One who is omnipresent and all knowing.
What about you? Are you able to admit whatever your secret sin or life dominating sin is? I find myself extremely convicted in some areas as I meditate on God’s Word and He lays my heart bare. It grieves my heart to know that I still find ways to make excuses for my sin. I love God’s Word- it rips the blinders off my eyes and causes me to see clearly what God wants me to see. I have the opportunity see parts of myself I choose to overlook and to repent. Expect the same thing for yourself and those you minister to.
The changes we experience will come from an understanding and application of the book of Ephesians. If there is one book of the Bible I encourage everyone to memorize it is Paul’s letter to Ephesians! Wonderful compact truths in an applicable style! As you realize what the Bible says about your thoughts, beliefs, and desires and you internalize those truths you will begin to live them. This is Eph. 4:22-24- put off the old attitudes of the heart, renew your mind, and put on the new attitudes of the heart.