The Monster is Hungry

The Monster is Hungry

And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you . . . Genesis 4:7

You know that if you keep using drugs intravenously, that you’ll die. He said yes.* He grasped that. He’d had bacteria build up in his heart before, destroying his heart valves, and requiring surgery. He’d nearly died several times already and he understood what it would mean if he relapsed when he got out of treatment. Still, he knew he was going to go back. He was addicted. It’s just what addicts do. Do you want to die? No. He didn’t have a death wish. It was just that, at this point, the drug made his decisions for him, and the drug didn’t care if he died. In fact, it seemed that the drug was a monster that wanted him dead.

His was an astounding admission, but one that didn’t completely surprise me. I’ve been there. I didn’t want to overdose, die, or wreck my marriage and career. Yet, on multiple occasions I consumed a dangerous cocktail of alcohol, sleeping pills, and opioids. I repeatedly told myself I could get away with my drug use, but deep down, I knew that if I kept using, that I’d lose my family and my job. Yet the possibility of these consequences didn’t stop me. Why? Because by that time, the drug made my decisions for me, and it didn’t care if I lost everything. The drug was a monster that wanted to destroy me.

How did I get there? It wasn’t as if the drug just attacked me one day while minding my own business. No, I initially made conscious decisions to pursue the drug because my appetite wanted it. I knew it was wrong to abuse opioids, but it felt good, so I did it. When I opened that door once, the second time was easier. Then, after choosing the drug many times, I lost all choice as the drug assumed control over my decision making. I’m not responsible for the underlying appetite for opioids, but I’m the only one responsible for awakening that beast, feeding it, and allowing it to consume my life.

This is the lesson of today’s passage. In it, God confronted Cain, who was angry at God for rejecting his offering of leftovers. God warned Cain, attempting to teach him this life lesson – If you indulge in sin and self-destructive behavior, that sin will consume and destroy you.

This is still the profound lesson for us today. Sin is a monster that can be avoided, but once we indulge in it, we awaken it, giving it control of our lives. And make no mistake, evil’s goal is our total destruction. The choice is ours though. If we daily choose to follow God, doing what’s right, we can experience life, joy, and peace, avoiding the monster and all its misery. If, however, we ignore God’s warning and awaken the beast, we will learn the painful lesson of Cain.


*To protect the identity of the individual in today’s blog, I’ve purposefully changed enough details of the story, that this person wouldn’t be recognizable to anyone who knew him or her.

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