My Way is a Disaster
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25
As you may recall, I had my left knee replaced back in November and I decided before surgery that I had to do it without opioid pain medications. That’s where I’m at now in my recovery and I’m profoundly thankful that I got through it without opioids. A few years back though, it was a completely different story. In 2008, I had an ACL repair on the same knee and though I claimed ahead of time that I was going do it without opioids, I was still struggling with my addiction. I’m ashamed to say that I changed my mind, using the postoperative pain to attempt to get pain medications from my physician. He knew what was best for me, but I couldn’t accept his opinion. What does he know? Despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, I insisted that I knew best and I did everything I could to manipulate my way into getting what I wanted.
This is an almost constant struggle in working with the addicted. Despite a massive amount of evidence that the addict makes terrible life choices when it comes to addictive substances, my patients still often believe they know what’s best. It would seem absurd to anyone observing the addicted patient arguing with a physician over a prescription for a controlled substance, yet it happens every day. The addict knows he has a problem with chemicals, yet when it comes to what he wants right now, he’s completely blinded by his self-destructive appetite.
Though I don’t struggle with drugs today, if I’m honest, I can still understand the struggle of the addicted. I get it because I’m still often blind to the inherent self-destructive nature of my own appetite. In recovery, I’m learning to daily point my life at God instead of myself. My way is a disaster. God’s way is life. I must live accordingly.
This is the message of today’s passage. In it, Jude closed his letter by acknowledging that God has all knowledge, authority, and power. If I truly believe that, then I must choose to live like it. But that’s my entire life problem. My behavior just doesn’t want to line up with my beliefs. I do truly believe though that my way is a disaster and that God’s way is life. So, daily, I must make a genuine effort to make myself live what I claim to believe.