Just One More, and Then I’ll Quit
You shall eat, but not be satisfied . . . Micah 6:14
In our jail Bible study recently, one of the guys who has struggled with addiction said that he was going to go to treatment as soon as he got out. He just had one minor medical procedure to take care of first. I warned that I would have once used that procedure as an excuse to get pills before I went to treatment. The guys all laughed, not because it was funny, but because they were thinking the exact same thing. Just one high before I go to treatment and then I’ll quit forever.
I’ve been there, repeating the lie that every time was the last time. I hated what I was doing, but I had a hunger that could only be satiated by using. When that brief gratification wore off, I felt worse than before. Then, the only thing that would fill that emptiness, was to repeat the destructive behavior that led me to the emptiness in the first place. It was a bitter cycle of attempting to find satisfaction with something that could never satisfy.
This is the sad state described by Micah in today’s passage. In it, Micah condemned the greedy who abused the poor for their own gain. He said that their hunger for money would become its own curse. They would take and take, but it would never be enough. Indulging in their destructive appetite would not bring satisfaction, but emptiness and more hunger. Micah understood addiction.
Since the garden, this is the curse of our corrupt flesh nature: To hunger for immediate gratification, only to find emptiness and misery later. It may be drugs, money, lust, affirmation from others, gossip, anger, social media, or shopping. Whatever our thing is, we like how it makes us feel right now, so we attempt to find our joy, purpose and meaning in that thing. Those things however, can never fill our deepest needs.
We were made by God to find our ultimate satisfaction in him alone. Attempting to fill that hole with anything else, eventually leads to frustration, pain, and emptiness. If we want to know true joy, we must stop trying to find it in food, money, or social media. We must daily choose to find our joy and meaning in God alone.