We still have our idols today, even in our modern society. They are less obvious, and often show themselves as addictions. The latest addiction to be defined is Internet addiction. Officials in Japan estimate that over half a million students in both middle school and high school are addicted to the Internet. They’ve even set up Internet “fasting” camps in order to treat this spreading problem.
Gerald May tells us that addiction exists whenever persons are internally compelled to give energy to things that are not their true desires. May’s definition helps us understand that addiction is broader than what we classically think of in medicine. In fact, by May’s definition, each of us will struggle with some form of addiction at various times in our life, though we may not recognize it. Even now, you might be struggling with a compulsion to give time and energy to something that is not your true desire.
This naturally brings up the question…what is our true desire? I am often amazed to talk with people who have absolutely no idea what their true desire is! According to Scripture, part of our true desire is to fulfill the work that God has given us to do in this life (Eph. 2:10). Only as we find the works that God has prepared for us will we experience a full and joy filled life. A life spent fulfilling our addictions falls short of the abundant life God wants for us. As the verse in Exodus says…we should not have anything take the place of God in our lives.
Finding our true desire…the work that God has prepared for us, requires that we actively seek it out. It requires that we take time to think about it, pray about it, and even reach out to others for their opinion. It requires that we develop a vision for our life that incorporates how God made us and specifically gifted us.
When you are living the life that God meant for you to live, you will find that addictions have very little control over you. Your heart is already engaged in what you should be doing…and it won’t easily be distracted.
Prayer: Lord, show me any addictions that I might be struggling with and continue to lead me into the works you have prepared for me today.