Addicted to Status
John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Matthew 3:4
While putting life back together after the disaster of my addiction, I had a decision to make. Was I going to resume my career, rebuild my family, and just keep quiet about the past? People are mostly forgiving if you’re willing to change, so, I think I could have just moved on, restoring my dignity, and forgetting about that whole addiction thing.
Again, when I began thinking about writing this blog, I had to ask myself, Do I really want to go public? Do I want to be known as “that addiction guy”? I knew anyone could read what I put out there and I knew everyone would know my struggles with faith and recovery. It would have been easier and more dignified to just keep quiet.
The liberating thing for me though, was that everyone knew from the start. Since my name was in the paper, it was easier to just be honest about it. In my recovery, I’ve realized I need to share my story, doing what I can to help others who struggle as I have. It’s a simple question of obedience. Am I going to do what I think God wants me to do? Or, am I more worried about my reputation, dignity and status?
Those who follow Christ will always look a little weird to the world. John the Baptist lived in the wilderness, eating bugs and honey. The world thought him odd, and he was. But more than that, he was obedient to God’s will. John didn’t care about what people said about him. He just followed his creator.
Most of us know this conflict. We want to know God and faith, but deep down, we fear that truly following him will make us a little weird. And we’re right. It will. Loving God above all, and loving our neighbors as ourselves, will make us different. Others may not understand, but if we truly want to be Christ’s disciples, we can’t let our desire for popularity get in the way of obedience.
Living for status, at the cost of doing what’s right, is an addiction, no less destructive than a drug. If we want to know God, faith, and recovery, we must worry more about following him than we are about our popularity.