When the Addiction Began
Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him. Luke 20:18
In medical school, I had to have my thyroid gland surgically removed, meaning that I no longer make the hormone thyroxine. Because I’d be dead without this hormone, I must take a pill every day to replace it. Without it, I’d eventually slip into a coma and die. Because the pill keeps me alive, I find myself motivated to take it appropriately.
That same surgery though, exposed me to opiate pain medications for the first time. I didn’t know I had an addiction sprouting in me then, but years later, my relationship with that particular pill, ended in spectacular disaster. Just as one pill has kept me alive, the other one killed everything I loved. The difference has been in my posture and behavior towards the pills. One I’ve used appropriately, and the other, I abused, finding profound misery. The pill, for me, has been a metaphor for both life and death.
In today’s passage, Luke used another metaphor, that of a rock or stone, to describe Jesus. He said that the stone which was rejected by some has become the cornerstone of faith to others. To those who reject Christ, he is the rock upon which they smash themselves. To those who follow him though, he is the rock upon which the foundation of life itself is built.
The difference is in our attitude or posture towards the rock. This stone is death to some and life to others. Either way, the stone just is. The difference is in what we do with it. Do we reject this rock or do we embrace it? Even if we claim to believe in God, if we follow ourselves, building life around our own pursuits, our failure to follow Christ will eventually catch up with us. When we inevitably fall, the truth of Jesus will be the rock upon which we’re broken, as we condemn ourselves for rejecting his way.
If, however, we build our lives upon the foundation of Christ, we will find life, joy, peace, and recovery. The difference is in our attitude, posture and behavior regarding Jesus. We either reject Christ to our own demise or he saves us from ourselves as we follow him. Like my attitude regarding pills, it is no exaggeration to say that our daily posture towards Christ is one of life and death.