Wisdom-Trek / Creating a Legacy
Welcome to Day 1218 of our Wisdom-Trek, and thank you for joining me.
This is Guthrie Chamberlain, Your Guide to Wisdom
Addictions Destroy Lives – Ask Gramps
Wisdom – the final frontier to true knowledge. Welcome to Wisdom-Trek where our mission is to create a legacy of wisdom, to seek out discernment and insights, and to boldly grow where few have chosen to grow before.
Hello, my friend, I am Guthrie Chamberlain, your captain on our journey to increase Wisdom and Create a Living Legacy. Thank you for joining us today as we explore wisdom on our 2nd millennium of podcasts. This is Day 1218 of our trek, and it is time for our Philosophy Friday series. Each Friday, we ponder some of the basic truths and mysteries of life and how they can impact us in creating our living legacy.
As we continue on this trek called life, sometimes we have questions about life, so our Friday trek is a time when we can “Ask Gramps.” Gramps will answer questions that you would like to ask your dad or granddad, but for whatever reason, you are unable to. No matter how old we are, I know that all of us would like the opportunity to ask Dad or Gramps questions about life in many areas.
We may mix it up a bit on our Friday episodes, but we will strive to keep them down to earth and enjoyable. If you have any questions that you would like to ask Gramps, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The question for this week is…
“Hey Gramps, I am struggling with drinking too much. I can usually control myself when life is running smoothly, but with the pressure of finances, working, raising the kids, and being a good husband, I lapse back into drinking too much which, I know is not what God desires. I fear that I am becoming addicted to drink. Do you have some wisdom tips you can share that would help me avoid drinking when I am under stress?”
Addictions Destroy Lives
Let me start with a story about someone who ended up paying the ultimate price because he did not overcome his addiction. Jeffrey Motts was executed by lethal injection for the 2005 murder of a fellow inmate at the Perry Correctional Institute in South Carolina. He was originally jailed for murdering two elderly people in 1995. What was particularly revealing was a comment he made in his final statement, which was read by his attorney. “I was the child everyone wanted their children around, that is, until I got addicted to drugs. Drugs have destroyed my life.”
The sad thing is, Jeffrey Motts was a good kid, as most kids start out in life. Unfortunately, he became addicted to drugs through initially casual use, until it controlled his entire life. He is not alone, and as the question which was asked today, it is so easy to slip from a functioning addiction to one that completely consumes you. Many people today struggle with addictions. If not drugs or alcohol, it may be gambling, sex, pornography, food, shopping, or the more socially acceptable addictions of exercise, work, and internet habits. These were once considered compulsions or weaknesses, but anything that controls and consumes us is an addiction.
I know it is not a pleasant way to think of it, but addictions remind me of Proverbs 26:11, “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.” It is hard to accept, but addictions are foolishness because we are relying on something other than God to help us deal with life. We must be willing to clothe ourselves with a life that is pleasing to God. Romans 13:13-14 tells us, “Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.”
Addictions destroy lives. They undermine confidence and self-respect. They produce painful, destructive patterns. They create a black hole of despair. They make people insensitive to the feelings and needs of those who care for them because addicts, when fully consumed, will stop at nothing to feed their addiction. Addictions rob children of loving parents. Addictions rob people of health and well-being.
Solomon, in the book of Proverbs, paints a grotesque picture of the addict as one who keeps going back to his “drug of choice” over and over again, thinking surely this time it will satisfy. But as with any addiction, it never does. It will only continue to get worse apart from God’s liberating intervention. Let me read Proverbs [23:29]-35. This passage deals with alcohol, but see if you have these same feelings about the addiction that you may be struggling with.
Who has anguish? Who has sorrow?
Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining?
Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns,
trying out new drinks.
Don’t gaze at the wine, seeing how red it is,
how it sparkles in the cup, how smoothly it goes down.
For, in the end, it bites like a poisonous snake;
it stings like a viper.
You will see hallucinations,
and you will say crazy things.
You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea,
clinging to a swaying mast.
And you will say, “They hit me, but I didn’t feel it.
I didn’t even know it when they beat me up.
When will I wake up
so I can look for another drink?”
This is a pretty sobering account of any type of addiction, isn’t it? It does not only apply to alcohol.
So how do we recover from addictions, or stop ourselves from sliding down the slippery slope into an addiction? First, get rid of any triggers that may drag you closer to it. For instance, don’t have alcohol in your house if drinking is a weakness. Setup safeguards on your computer, if you struggle with pornography. Be accountable to your spouse or close friends. Be involved with wholesome activities that will distract you from your addictive cravings. Help others that are less fortunate than you are and in need of assistance.
Addictions, while being attractive initially, are not glamorous. The next time you are tempted, flee to God for strength and help. Ultimately only through His Word will you be rescued. Long term, though, you MUST renew your mind through saturating it with God’s Word. God’s Word is like a water filter in your mind. As the attractions and garbage of everyday life flow into your mind, God’s word filters out the bad elements so that you can build a solid Biblical worldview.
I know of no better advice than to invest more and more time in God’s Word each day. Pray that God will give you strength for each day and bright hope for every tomorrow. You must transform your mind to overcome addictions. I know I use this verse quite often, but it is so true and valuable.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Lastly, surround yourself with Godly mentors, family members, and friends to help you to stand when you are too weak to stand on your own. Don’t try it alone; you are not Superman or Superwoman – your addiction is your kryptonite. The wisest man who ever lived, King Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes 4:12, “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”
That is a wrap for today’s question. Join us again next Friday for another question on our “Ask Gramps” episode. Our next trek is Mediation Monday, where we will help you reflect on what is most important in life. So encourage your friends and family to join us and then come along on Monday for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.
If you would like to listen to any of the past 1217 daily treks or read the associated journals, they are all available at Wisdom-Trek.com. I encourage you to subscribe to Wisdom-Trek on your favorite podcast player so each day will be downloaded to you automatically.
Thank you for allowing me to be your guide, mentor, and most of all, your friend as I serve you through the Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal.
As we take this trek together, let us always:
- Live Abundantly (Fully)
- Love Unconditionally
- Listen Intentionally
- Learn Continuously
- Lend to others Generously
- Lead with Integrity
- Leave a Living Legacy Each Day
I am Guthrie Chamberlain reminding you to Keep Moving Forward, Enjoy Your Journey, and Create a Great Day Everyday! See you on Monday!