The Disease that Afflicts Us All
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil . . . Luke 6:45
While listening to the addict who hasn’t quite found recovery yet, it can be frustrating to hear the excuses. I relapsed because of my debt. I’m in debt because I lost my job. I lost my job because my boss is a jerk. It’s really all my boss’s fault.
I’ve been there. Facing the mess I’ve made is horribly painful. It eases my guilty conscience to place the blame elsewhere and if it’s not my fault, I don’t have to do anything. The problem with this of course, is the futility of being the victim. If nothing is my responsibility, I can’t fix it and my life will never change.
If I truly want to get better, I must accept the painful truth. When it comes to my destructive behavior, I am the problem. I may want to blame the world, the devil, or even God, but the only way I’ll ever recover, is if I accept that there’s something wrong with me.
In today’s passage, Jesus said that the evil we do comes from the evil inside of us. When we engage in sinful, destructive behavior, it’s because we have a desire to behave in such a way. In coming to faith, we do gain a new spiritual life and the freedom to live in it, but we carry that gift in a broken vessel (2 Corinthians 4:7).
Many Christians recoil at the idea that addiction is a disease. It’s not a disease, it’s a sin! Evil behavior is evil, but it doesn’t come from nowhere. As Jesus said, it comes from the broken, evil, pathologic desires that we all have.
This disease of destructive appetites manifests itself in different ways. Most of us don’t naturally like healthy food. Most of us like fat and sugar. Likewise, some feel the gravity of pornography, drugs, or gambling, while others struggle with money. The one who thinks himself to be free from the pull of sin has surely succumbed to a blinding pride.
We don’t need to live enslaved to our disease though. Because Christ has set us free, we now have the continual choice to follow him or ourselves. The Christian life is to be one of daily abandoning the old to follow the new. In doing so, God transforms our desires so that we hunger for good instead of evil.