How many addicts are there in your community? In your church? In your circle of friends? 1? 2? 4,163?
Most people don’t like to think of themselves as addicts. And, when it comes to the “big” addictions of marijuana, heroin and crack, most of us aren’t in that kind of place (though it’s worth remembering that around 30% of Brits have tried illegal drugs and 13% of those who have tried them have struggled with real dependency issues). But there are other kinds of addictions that overtake so many of us day after day.
As I look around my Christian and non-Christian friends, I see addictions to gambling, alcohol, cigarettes and pornography. I see addictions to texting, games, food and shopping. When I look into my own heart I see addictions to control, approval – and a few others besides! Addictions are out there – in our lives, in our streets, in our congregations.
It’s no surprise. We all have desires. And, in this fallen world, those desires get out of control. They’re what Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, calls “over-desires” or “idols”. Things that we want so much that they overtake our desire to be faithful, humble, pure, Christ-like children of God. Things that drive us – at times seeming to control us – and in the process encourage us to behave in all kinds of ways that we know are wrong. Things that we can’t quite seem to conquer through mere self-control. Things that leave us feeling tainted, ugly, hopeless, alone.
But there is hope.
There is a path to true and lasting freedom. And it is found in a person – the person of Jesus Christ. In him there is forgiveness, purpose, transformation, strength, perspective and a wonderful future for those who are struggling now. As Christians, that is a wonderful message to live and share.
So, if you – or someone you know – is struggling with a persistent sin or a life-controlling dependence, why not get more to grips with what Jesus has to say to addicts? Join us on Saturday 30th April in London to hear Mike Emlet from CCEF explaining what so many of us need to hear: gospel hope when desire takes control.
For more details and to book your place on Biblical Counselling UK’s day conference go to our conferences page.