Your heart is your greatest enemy!
In this series of five articles, I’m making five bold and biblical statements about addiction, and I’ve told you that if you or someone you love struggles with addiction, we can overcome addiction in Christ! That statement I made at the beginning, “Your heart is your greatest enemy,” is foundational not only for salvation but if we’re going to grow spiritually.
In defining the heart we would likely either point to the organ pumping blood in our chest or to the emotional aspect of who we are. I agree that both of those are true ways we define the heart, but I would also say that those definitions are lacking. To know your heart biblically you have to understand that in many respects it’s the center of who we are. My heart includes my thoughts, my emotions, my intentions, and my will.
You might remember that Jesus said in Matthew 15:18-19 “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. 19 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.”
Have you ever wondered why you feel the way you do about something? Why do you react the way you do to a situation? Why do you say the things you say? This isn’t random, it all flows from our heart and that’s why Proverbs 4:23 says “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.”
My heart is my greatest enemy because it wants things that are wrong and sinful and even when my heart’s desire is set on something good, don’t we tend to make that thing the most important thing in our life? Now we’re getting to what my granny would say was the “nitty-gritty” on this whole matter of addiction.
There’s a lot to talk about here in terms of the specifics of how and why people become addicted, far more to cover than we have time for today. But let me key in on one area that almost all addiction has in common: pain from the past.
No matter whether it’s an addiction to drugs, alcohol, food, or anything else you could list; grief, pain, and loss are almost always part of the testimony of a person who struggles with addiction. Nobody, when they’re five years old dreams of someday being addicted to pain medication, or meth, or alcohol. But somewhere along the way, there was a tragedy that left deep wounds and scars that aren’t always visible.
It could be physical pain but most often it’s emotional pain. People want something other than the hurt and they found no relief other than their addiction. In one respect they hate it and yet at the same time, it’s their only friend that constantly offers any relief. That relief becomes the most important thing in their heart and it’s right there that addiction is born.
Please hear me if that’s you. Please know that you are seen. Please know that you are known.
To the very core of who you are and the God that I’m talking about who knows you and is at this very moment extending a nail-scarred hand to help you through this feeble pastor who’s talking with you right now. Please know that there’s hope. Hope not only to overcome addictions and hope to overcome the pain of the past, but there is also hope for your heart.
At Community Baptist Church in Bunnell, we have a ministry called Overcoming Addictions in Christ and we meet Thursdays at 7:00 PM. We want to come alongside you and show you that hope and how you can overcome addictions in Christ. How you can be healed in Christ.