Closet Drinker

Closet Drinker

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? 1 Corinthians 6:19

The challenge for many addicts and alcoholics, when they get out of treatment or jail, is that they go back to their old life which usually means their old friends. The problem is that their old friends all use and so, it’s tremendously difficult to stay clean.

This wasn’t a problem for me because I didn’t have using friends. I used secretly, alone, at home – in the closet. I told myself I wasn’t hurting anyone and that, if no one knew, there wasn’t really a problem. That was a lie. This wasn’t an isolated event that I could insulate from the rest of my life. At the beginning of my drug use, I tried to maintain my normal life and my faith, but, even in my secrecy, I couldn’t hide my addiction from God. As the drug spilled out of its little closet, invading the rest of my life, I had less and less room for him. Eventually, that small, secret thing caused me to turn my back on God. Then he allowed it to consume my entire life.

In today’s passage, Paul said that as Christians, our bodies are a temple in which the Holy Spirit of God lives. If we truly follow Christ, we’ll make room for the Holy Spirit, evicting anything that opposes his indwelling. We can allow God access to our entire selves, or we can attempt to maintain secret closets where we cling to those things with which we’re not willing to part.

We all do this. We all have those thoughts, behaviors, and appetites that we refuse to surrender. We think we can live the Christian life and maintain our secret spaces, but those things have a way of growing, spilling out into the rest of our lives, pushing God out. We can have a little God in us, or we can be filled with him. The choice is ours and often, we evict him as we pollute our lives with our self-destructive pursuits.

As Christians, we don’t really have a safe closet where we can keep secrets from God. If we want to live by faith, enjoying the life and peace that comes only from him, then daily, we must open those closet doors, dragging the contents into the light, throwing them out. This is hard, painful work, but if we truly desire the life we were made for, there is no other way. Daily, we must make room for God in our lives.