The people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors . . . they refused to give up their evil practices. (Judg. 2:19)

We hear about addiction today more than ever before. We have literature, seminars, conferences, workshops, support groups, and counselors to help our culture deal with the ever-increasing outbreak of behaviors and lifestyles that destroy us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Addiction is bound in the heart of humans. Without the liberating work of the Holy Spirit, we develop habits that can chain us for life. But more than any specific practice, sin is an addictive attitude. Self becomes glutted on its own fulfillment and then can accept nothing less than complete indulgence. And when one is abandoned to absolute gratification of self, even God cannot provide rescue. For the key to salvation is wanting to be saved. And those who refuse to give up their sinful ways do not truly want to be rescued.

The profligate Israelite generation “refused to give up their evil practices.” They were the poster children for the words of Proverbs 26:11 about a dog returning to his vomit and a fool returning to his folly. They were bent on following their inclinations regardless of his offer of mercy.

Addiction becomes a way of life and feeds the soul, however cruelly. Those who want out must willingly turn away and accept help. Those who return to it are beyond mercy. They put the chains of their own free will back on.

Avoid the sated self, which is a beast that destroys itself.

Valorie Quesenberry is a pastor’s wife and mom who lives in Indiana and likes to recharge with coffee and time with friends.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.