Friday, May 8, 2015
Only Jesus Can "Pull a Life Together"
When a person dies due to an overdose or addiction, it is frustrating when non-believers say things like,
“It is sad that they were never able to pull their life together.”
Statements like this only reveal how lost the world really is, and the damage our training in the false teaching of secular humanism and “pulling oneself up by their bootstraps” is.
The only people I know who have permanently overcome addiction and gone on to fulfilling lives are those who have done it through Christ.
Oh sure, I know of some people who did “give up” or “quit” an addiction out of sheer self-willpower, sometimes for many years. But eventually, they began drinking or drugging again. Or they replaced one addiction with another. I am stating what I have actually observed. And most of what I have observed has occurred in my own extended family and my own personal experience with alcohol addiction.
For those for whom the Gospel is “foolishness” (1 Corinthians 2:14, 3), the reality of freedom from addiction in Christ will remain something to snicker and smirk at. These people will partronizingly say, “I’m glad that worked for you,” but what’s left unsaid is, “you poor naïve little thing.”
The funny thing is, this often comes from people who have never experienced addiction to a physical substance (although everyone has their addictions), or who actually participate in the very activity people commonly become addicted to, like drinking.
And most of them have already made up their minds, without ever experiencing faith themselves, that “faith in Christ doesn’t work.” Ironic, because, as we can see all around us, their secular government programs are stellar models of successful perfection. Right.
Their programs on their own aren't working and refusing to try faith as an option could be the reason why.
I once dragged a leader of a government AODA committee to a Campus Life event in order to expose him to the positive work going on with youth, and to plant a seed that perhaps the AODA committee might want to include the mention of faith options in their programming.
This did not go over well. The man was noticeably uncomfortable the entire time, and would not respond to my follow up email afterwards. (Previous to this, I had done my part by sitting, equally uncomfortably, in his committee “planning session” for how to curb drinking among adolescents, only to hear the same-old same-old: “Increase budgets,” “create an awareness campaign,” and “find ‘best practices’ for intervention’” (oddly enough ruling out the “best practice” of faith!)
When are people going to realize that insanity means doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results? This is what our secular social services do every day when they leave out the option of faith.
Notice I say “option,” something they won’t even concede to. They say they “want to do everything and anything” to prevent drug and alcohol abuse, but they lie. I know, because whenever I see this quote in a newspaper article, I email the person and offer the church’s free services to lend a hand. No budget needed. No staff hires. No building program. Free, at no cost, from the church, with only an upside in outcome. My offers over the years have time and time again been rebuffed.
So much for “co-existing,” the mantra on many secular humanist’s bumper stickers!
When it comes to social services, public “servants” foolishly turn down the one avenue to lasting change. And how, I ask, does that best “serve” the community? When one of the most viable options continues to be ignored, those who hold the keys to “prevention” and “treatment” are doing a grave disservice by putting their own biases, presuppositions and attitudes before the welfare of others. Since these secular humanists don’t want anything to do with faith, the people they “serve” won’t be allowed to have anything to do with faith either.
The journey of pulling lives together and bringing an end to sinful cycles begins and ends with Christ. Our individual part is to allow Christ's faith to take root in us and not deny the Holy Spirit’s call to concede to Jesus’ saving grace and authority in and over our lives.
Through Christ, we not only exit addiction and the oppression of self, but we enter into a new realm of love, joy, peace, contentment and freedom from spiritual, emotional, and intellectual bondage and blindness. We gain a foundation from which to now build a humble, contented life with God that is entirely sufficient.
Christ overcame the world (John 16:33), and in Him, we can too. To ignore or deny this is utter foolishness.
Copyright Barb Harwood
“Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.” Isaiah 5:21
“Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.” Proverbs 26:12
Jesus, quoting from the scroll of Isaiah, said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,” Luke 4:18
“Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.’” Luke 17:1
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:14
“Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become ‘fools’ so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness;’ and again, ‘The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.’ So then, no more boasting about human leaders!...” 1 Corinthians 3:18-21a