. . . Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:18-21
A family member recently had a minor surgery, which involved bringing home pain medications after the procedure. There was a time when I would have been obsessed with figuring out how to take advantage of the situation. Now, in recovery, my impulses were very different. I wasn’t really worried about relapsing, but my first thoughts regarding the pills were to how to protect myself and my sobriety. I made sure my wife knew that I wanted her to manage them. I didn’t need to know where they were, and I didn’t need to be involved in the distribution.
Where I once would have craved the pain pills, I now want to stay as far away from them as possible. As I’ve pursued my faith and recovery, my appetite and impulses have radically changed. There was a time when I wanted to want sobriety, but in practice, I didn’t really want it. My impulsive decision making at the time reflected that – I acted like someone who was addicted. Now, I honestly want recovery far more than I want pills. God has radically transformed me so that I now desire the opposite of what I once did.
I still need this transformation in other areas of my life though. I’m still deeply flawed. For instance, when I read today’s passage – where Paul commanded us to make melody with our hearts, give thanks for everything, submitting to one another – it occurred to me that I don’t want to do any of those things. It’s just not my nature to be submissive or to make melodies (whatever that means). Frankly, in reading the passage, my first thought is – That all sounds stupid and I’m not doing it.
My addiction taught me though, that my first impulse is often wrong and requires correction. In recovery, God has changed my appetite so that I want what he wants when it comes to drugs. So, I now pray for the same kind of change regarding other areas of my life. Every morning, I ask God that he continually transform my appetite so that I want what he wants. I’ve learned that my way is disaster, and that God will never lead me to self-destruction. So, today, and every day, I’ll ask God to continue to change my nature so that I desire what is good, right, and true, in every area of my life.