It’s amazing how many people feel Christians look at the world with naïve optimism. I was fortunate enough to assist with a Christ-centered addictions program for two years. Week after week I watched people come to the program once or twice and never return. One man even stood up and said, “You’re not giving these people any real help. When they are down in the gutter, they need someone they can call on to drag them out. Sitting here in a church and praying isn’t going to help them in the real world.”
Oh, how wrong he was. Many of those people came to church on Friday nights hoping to find a magic cure: “do this, this and that and presto – the gutters of the world will be a distant memory.” The glorious truth is they were closer to a cure than they ever realized. I believe addiction is the result of a conscious or unconscious attempt to deal with the sin-riddled world around us. It starts with a drink, pill, food, etc. that temporarily blurs the vision, numbs the senses and disarms the moral compass within to give some comfort from the harsh reality of the world in which we live. They make things, at least for a while, more bearable.
Addiction is the result of a conscious or unconscious attempt to deal with the sin-riddled world around us.
Now, here’s the rub. As Christians we try to help people with these addictions without realizing we do the exact same thing. John 14:16 says, “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever.” In John 14:26 Jesus says, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
Why is the Holy Spirit called a Comforter? Because He is sent to help make things more bearable. The Comforter sent to us by God clears our vision, heightens our senses and guards our moral compass so we can see beyond the harsh world in which we live and see the world that was intended and will be again. The rose-colored glasses we wear do not blind us from the reality of the world. They allow us to look at those who have fallen into the gutters of this world and see children of God. Our Comforter allows us to reach out to those around us and give them true hope in Jesus Christ and, for the first time, let them see themselves through the eyes of The King.