Candy Sprinkles God
You are my friends if you do what I command you. John 15:14
Many of us who have wrestled with addiction have some knowledge that we need God. We believe he exists, and we understand that he has some negative posture towards our destructive behavior. So, we make some attempt at faith. In our desire to have a little God in our lives, we might play some Christian music, pick up a devotional, or perhaps even go to church. We remain unwilling to change though. We just want God’s blessing sprinkled on our lives, like candy topping.
I’ve done this. Enslaved to my pills, living in the dark, I grew to hate who I was and what I was doing. I felt tremendous guilt, and so I went to God every time I used, asking forgiveness. I wanted the peace of God in my life, but I remained unwilling to do what it took to abandon the thing that was causing me turmoil. I just wanted God to make me feel better. I attempted to use him, like I used the drug, hoping for another high.
A lot of us do this. We think faith is a good idea, so we make some half-hearted attempt to add God to our lives. We don’t truly want to do what it takes to live differently though. We just want to be the kind of people who believe and we desire whatever blessing might go along with that. So, we just continue following ourselves, sprinkling a prayer here and there.
It was to this kind of pseudo-faith, that Jesus spoke to in today’s passage: If you love me, you will follow me. If you desire authentic life, joy, and peace, you will obey my commands and it will radically change your life (my paraphrase). There were many who watched Jesus out of curiosity, hoping to see some miracle. They probably thought he was a good idea, but they didn’t really follow him. If you truly believe, you will do what I say.
Do I believe, or do I still attempt to sprinkle God on my life, hoping for the blessing without really changing? Sure, I’m sober now, but I still wake up every day wanting to follow me. Following Christ doesn’t mean I live perfectly. I’m still a bit of a mess sometimes. Following Christ does mean that I recognize that I still have things to work on. It means I must daily work on abandoning my path to follow his.