Commit Like the Addict Does
But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word. Acts 3:4
Discipline, or lack thereof, has been a life problem for me. I have good intentions for the most part. I don’t want to be a slave to my appetite. I just often lack commitment. In my addiction, I wanted recovery and so, I’d stay sober for a few days or weeks, but eventually, I’d grow apathetic and relapse. It’s similar with my eating. I work hard at it for days or weeks, but eventually, I get worn down and surrender to instant gratification.
While addicted, I found I was capable of radical commitment though. In my obsession, I was singularly devoted to obtaining, consuming, and hiding my drug use. In living for my appetite, I pursued destruction and eventually, I found it. The outcome was predictable and inevitable. In the end, I nearly gave up everything – family, faith, and career – for my pills. That was profound commitment.
Today’s passage tells of a similar commitment of the Christians in the early church. Instead of following drugs though, they were dedicated to following Christ. Knowing and doing the will of God consumed them. Their entire purpose was found in telling others of the new life that could be found in repenting and pursuing Christ. Though they were arrested, threatened, and beaten, they simply would not stop. They didn’t get tired after a few days, because they had found a new life.
Those apostles were as fanatical about their faith as I was about my addiction. That then, is the challenge for me – to apply the devotion, of which I know I’m capable, to my faith. Just as I once lived for the drug, pursuing it every day, I now must live for God, pursuing him and his will every day.
We don’t have to be drug addicts to understand this. We can just ask ourselves what it is that we live for right now. What do I spend most of my time and effort on today? Do we live for our career, status, toys, entertainment, or the weekend? Or, do we live to follow God. The outcome of our pursuits will be predictable. If we’re committed to following our appetite, we’ll find misery. If, however, we truly desire life, faith, and recovery, we must devote ourselves to pursuing God’s way as we once pursued our way.