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Living Upside Down

Living Upside Down

You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, “He did not make me” . . .? Isaiah 29:16

I’ve often said that my drug addiction has not been my greatest mistake in life. My most egregious error has simply been that I’ve followed myself above all. My drug addiction was just the most obvious symptom of a much greater disease: my me-addiction. In following me, I’ve lived upside down, putting myself above God.

If God exists and if he created us, then he is in charge and we are not. Most of us though, know what it is like to live upside down, following ourselves over God. Why do we do this? For some of us, it’s a purposeful, conscious choice. I will not follow a God who . . . I just do not believe in God.

For the rest of us though, the inversion is much subtler. We fool ourselves, claiming to follow God. In theory, we put him in charge, but in practice, we follow our own preferences. We call ourselves disciples, but our actions reveal that when it comes to our time, money and energy, instead of loving God and neighbor, we follow our own will. We may tell ourselves we are better off than the one who refuses to believe, but in reality, we’re just as upside down. At least the atheist is consistent.

Living inverted has its consequences, some of which are more visible than others. With my drug addiction, the consequences were obvious and unavoidable. For other self-pursuits, the results are less apparent. If one is not too destructive, he can live his entire life for himself, all the while claiming faith, but never truly following God.

This is the most dangerous condition of all: to never follow God, all the while believing that I am. Honestly, I’ve become thankful for my drug addiction. As painful and tragic as it was, it would have been a far greater tragedy to continue the way I was, without ever having to work on my upside down life.

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