My Name is Scott. I’m an Addict.
So when Joseph came to his brothers, . . . they took him and threw him into a pit. Genesis 37:23-24
As a Christian, who am I? Am I a new creation or do I still struggle with the old life? Is it wrong to call myself an addict if I follow Christ? These are the questions that the Christian addict asks himself. It may be a common experience, but Christians are at times, offended when I admit that I am an addict.
I appreciate then, the Bible’s brutally honest portrayal of God’s people. In the story of Joseph and his brothers, everyone is flawed. Joseph was arrogant, his father played favorites and the jealous brothers sold him into slavery. These characters all identified as followers of God, but they were a mess.
Sure, but after Christ came, we were made new, right? We absolutely have a new spirit life in Christ, but Paul taught repeatedly that we continue to live in our broken flesh (body and nature).
If I was a diabetic before I came to Christ, it is not useful to go to my doctor and tell him that I am a new creation and therefore no longer require insulin. If I wrestled with jealousy, resentment or lust before becoming a Christian, I will still wrestle with those things.
Likewise, if I have struggled with addiction, the most dangerous thing I can tell myself is that I am magically free now. Just as my flesh body is not perfected when I come to Christ, my flesh nature is not perfected.
Because of our new spirit life, we do not need to live enslaved to the flesh. It is precisely in identifying our old nature, that we may deny it and daily know the freedom of following Christ.
When I say that I am an addict, I am not denying my greater spiritual reality in Christ. If I am a diabetic, it is not un-Christian of me to admit it. I am simply acknowledging that I still have a flaw and that I must daily do what it takes to avoid its destruction.