How Did it Come to This?

How Did it Come to This?

How can a young man keep his way pure? . . . Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  Psalms 119:9,105

Working with addicts, I unfortunately have the opportunity to witness some profoundly destructive behavior. In looking back, I often want to ask, How did you get here?

It doesn’t take much effort to recall that question in my own life. As I’m writing this, it’s been three years since my name showed up in the local paper for my own addiction. At the time, I had to ask myself, How did it come to this?

No one sets out to become addicted, drive drunk, kill someone, commit adultery, or go to jail. When horrible behavior leads to horrible consequences though, the one caught up in it must ask the same question. How did I get here?

For me, it’s easy to see that I started my trip towards treatment years before I got there. It started with subtle choices. I’ll sleep in today instead of getting up early to read and pray. I can indulge just a little. All my other Christian friends drink. Why can’t I?

Slowly, almost imperceptibly, I turned from God, towards myself, only to find that I am a disastrous god with horrific appetites. What must I do now? How do I avoid the stupidity of my past?

This is the question that the Psalmist asked and answered in today’s passage. How can a young man keep his way pure? The answer, is to follow God in everything. I often think that I will follow him in the big choices. When it comes to drugs, I’ll just say no. If, however, I continually follow me in all the little decisions, when I get to a big decision, I’ll simply continue going the way I have practiced.

Daily then, I must train myself to follow God’s will. When I get up, I must ask, What’s the first thing I should do today? With my family, I must ask, How does God want me to treat them? At work, How can I show Christ’s love to others? If I want to avoid the disasters of my past, I must choose a different path. If I want to know God’s way instead of mine, I must daily – many times a day – choose to follow him.

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  1. Scott Powers says:

    Yup. Good message today, Scott.

  2. Randy buboltz says:

    Scott- just wanted to say thank you for putting this out there- my wife has been forwarding them to me and I almost always say wow that’s me! Thanks for the transparency- randy buboltz

    • Scott says:

      That’s probably the nicest thing you could say: “I can identify.” Thanks Randy. We still need to swap stories before the summer is over!

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