Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
Remember that we deal with alcohol-cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power-that One is God. A.A. Preamble
I grew up in South Dakota, often vacationing in the Black Hills, where there lives a herd of wild buffalo. They’re not predators. They eat grass. But every year, there’s a video or story of a tourist who, believing they’re friendly, gets too close. Then, those lumbering, docile beasts become terrifying. They’re not friends. They’re ferocious and if you get too close, you will get hurt or killed.
This isn’t a bad metaphor for my addiction. Initially, I thought my pills were a comforting friend. I often find myself saying, We use for a reason. My pills helped me sleep, relax, and unwind after a long day in the ER. At least I’m not getting drunk. The closer I got to the pills though, the more they consumed my life. By the time I realized I had a problem, it was too late. I was hopelessly addicted. I know those pills don’t have a consciousness, but, as AA says, my addiction is cunning, baffling, and powerful. Against it, I’m lost on my own.
This is what Peter said in today’s passage. You may or may not believe in an actual devil, but there’s an evil in this world that wants to destroy me. The terrifying thing is that it uses my own appetite against me. Evil never tempts me to stick a fork in my eye. That would be easy to resist. No, evil always tempts me with something that I think I want – something I think is good – but which destroys me in the end.
Addiction is Satan’s tool. Through addiction, he uses the pleasure of drugs to enslave young men into a life of using and to trap young women into being victims of sex trafficking. Addiction isn’t just about drugs though. A large portion of the population is never going to be enslaved to chemicals. So, evil finds a way. With pornography, Satan has addicted an entire generation of men to something they can easily access on the secrecy of their phone. Evil has never been so accessible and with it, the devil has spiritually paralyzed millions of men, while attacking their marriages.
Addiction, or Satan, or evil – whatever you call it – is a monster, prowling about, looking to destroy us. It’s not our friend, no matter how attractive it may appear. Our job is to realize this and to daily do whatever it takes to actively avoid it – just like the buffalo.