Am I Powerless or Do I Have a Choice?
In him was life, and the life was the light of men. John 1:4
Modern medicine sees addiction as a disease and step one of AA teaches that I’m powerless over my disease. I objected to these concepts initially, because I needed to believe that I wasn’t simply a hopeless victim and that I had some control over my future.
Looking back, I can now accept that I was powerless over my addiction and that I certainly did have a diseased appetite to which I’d become enslaved. At that point, I couldn’t free myself. In my powerlessness, I had but one choice. If I wanted to know life and recovery, I had to give my disease to God. As I was utterly incapable of handling my addiction, the only path to freedom was to surrender it to someone who could.
In today’s passage, we’re told that Jesus’ life is the light and power that has filled our world from the moment of creation. We have life because of him, and it is only in him that we find true life. To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12).
We all desire to experience life, joy, and peace. Most of us though, pursue those things the wrong way, causing ourselves misery upon misery. The problem is, we are incapable of producing our own life and light. We have a diseased, self-destructive nature over which we are powerless. We don’t find true life by following our will, but God’s. It’s only in him, that we can find the fantastic life for which we were made.
There is a cost though. To find the freedom of the new life, we must paradoxically surrender control. As our way is the problem, we must abandon it to follow God’s way. We are powerless to save ourselves and our only hope lies in giving up our right to be in charge.
I was powerless over my addiction. In it, I had only one choice – to surrender my choice. At the time, I didn’t want to give up what I thought was my freedom, but looking back, I can see that all I gave up was my slavery. Only in following God, could I find true life and recovery.