When God Wanted Me to Use Drugs

When God Wanted Me to Use Drugs

Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills . . . So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. And the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth.” Genesis 19:30-31

Another medical professional and I were recently discussing the diseased thinking of our addictions. For my part, I told how I once convinced myself that God wanted me to use drugs. How did you get there? Well, long ago, after I worked nights in the ER, I’d eventually switch back to days. At that point, I struggled to get to sleep those first couple of nights. I already had an underlying craving for opioids, but at that point, I was still trying to limit myself to occasional use. So here was my pathologic thought process: God wants me to be a good physician. To be a good physician, I need to get some sleep. Opioids help me sleep. Therefore, God wants me to use opioids. Looking back, it was absurd, but at the time, it was just enough twisted logic to slip my appetite past my conscience.

This same kind of diseased thinking was on full display in today’s passage. In the bizarre story, Lot and his two daughters lived in the wild, hiding from civilization after escaping the destruction of Sodom. With their husbands-to-be killed in the cataclysm of Sodom, and with no other suitors, Lot’s two daughters realized they had no prospects for offspring, which they apparently wanted. So, they devised a devious plan to get their father drunk, have sex with him, and become pregnant by him. They wanted something good – children – but in following their desire, they justified something terrible. They knew incest was wrong. Why else would they have to get Lot drunk? Still, they convinced themselves it was a necessary, tolerable evil to get what they wanted.

As horrible as the story is, we’re prone to this same diseased thinking. Our capacity for evil is exceeded only by our ability to justify that evil. When we really want something, we find a way to convince ourselves that it’s good for us, even when we know it’s wrong. If I look at porn, it will keep me from having an affair. Gambling today is the only way I can make up my losses from gambling yesterday. I’m not gossiping – I’m just sharing a prayer request.

In pursuit of our own way, we engage in diseased thinking, justifying sin. Honest pursuit of God’s way never leads to sin. If we desire to leave our self-inflicted misery, then daily, we must do whatever it takes to abandon our diseased thinking, pursuing God’s will instead of our own.

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