We Use for a Reason
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 2 Peter 1:4 (NIV)
When I meet those in jail or treatment who are newly sober, it often seems their minds are coming alive as they begin to clearly see the misery of their addiction. Why did I ever start using in the first place? I’m never going back. It’s a good thing to recognize the grief they’ve caused themselves, but they’ve been here before. They’ve been sober, promised never to go back, and then promptly went back. So, at this point, as they’re vowing never to relapse, I’ll often ask what’s made them relapse previously. We use for a reason. If they never recognize how and why they use, they’re destined to repeat the behavior.
We do what we do for a reason. When I consumed drugs, I had a lot of reasons. My pills provided some perceived benefit, or I never would have started in the first place. They helped me relax after a long day in the ER, they helped me regulate sleep, and I liked how they made me feel. Honestly, I enjoyed my pills, and I wanted them. I had a desire, and my pills temporarily fulfilled that desire. My addiction simply grew out of my own self-destructive appetite.
As Peter pointed out in today’s passage, this is important for us to recognize. In it, Peter explained that God has, out of his goodness, given us everything we need to participate in the divine nature. As Christians, we’re meant to know God, daily experiencing his love, joy, power, and peace in our lives. This is our purpose, and it’s why we were created – to know God. Is this our daily experience? If not, why not? Peter explained that to participate in the divine nature, we must escape the corrupting influence of our evil desires. We cannot pursue our self-destructive nature and God simultaneously. While we’re following our own way, we cannot follow God’s.
This isn’t only about drugs. Drugs are but one symptom. This is about following ourselves above God. For many of us, our greatest problem is simple selfishness. Are we living as Christ prescribed – loving God and loving our neighbors? If not, why not? Maybe it’s due to a drug addiction, but often it’s simply because of a me addiction. We do what we do for a reason – usually because it’s just what we want. Following ourselves though, is what corrupted us in the first place and the only way to find God, is to abandon our way, pursuing his above all.