Gods of Insanity and Addiction
2 Corinthians 4:4 The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light…
I have met alcoholics, who though dying from alcohol, still found it impossible to stop. Though they had turned yellow from liver failure, they would still sneak away to the bathroom to consume hand sanitizer for its alcohol content. They loathed the drink that was killing them but remained desperately thirsty for it. This is insanity, to hate something while sacrificing everything for it, pursuing it as a god.
This is the nature of addiction though. To the addict, the drug or drink becomes god, dictating every choice. No one sets out to bow down and worship a chemical, but incrementally, the chemical becomes everything to the addict and eventually, he will surrender everything good in life: faith, family and career, for it.
I am not saying that the addict, following a chemical god, cannot know the real God. I am just saying that in our addiction to a thing, we come to follow that thing as we should follow God. Anything we follow above God, becomes our god. In essence, we become addicted to that thing. This does not have to be drugs or alcohol. It can be pornography, identity, money, power, career or even good things. Family and friends can become destructive if we place them above God.
I once met an addict who desperately wanted recovery but remained greatly conflicted about God. He felt that faith was necessary for recovery but he could not accept God as he felt that God condemned his lifestyle. This man was willing to give up his drug use but if God could not accept everything else about him, then he could not accept God. He rejected God as he clung to something more important to him than God.
If I feel that God asks me to choose between him and me and I choose me, then I will become the only god I ever know. I will never meet the real God as I follow myself above all. This is insanity and addiction. I am a terrible god.
I could see this so obviously in the case of this one addict, but I need to remind myself that I struggle with this same concept daily. Though I believe in The God, I am constantly seduced by the insane gods of this world. Though I claim to follow God above all, I pursue many little gods as I should be pursuing the one true God.
Paul, in today’s passage, said that those who do not see God have been blinded by the god of this world. It appears that he was speaking of Satan but anything we put above God blinds us and become our own insane version of god. Even exercise, work, family and church can become addictions if we put them before God.
Again, I am not suggesting that the one who struggles does not know God. This would disqualify all of us. I am just saying that if we spend our lives serving something other than God, we must ask ourselves if we truly have faith in God or if we just have a head-knowledge of him. Many claim faith in God while serving some other god. This is the insanity of addiction, to follow as god something we know is not God.