07 Apr Addiction and Grace
Addiction and Grace
“I think our failure is necessary, for it is in failure and helplessness that we can most honestly and completely turn to grace. Grace is our only hope for dealing with addiction, the only power that can truly vanquish its destructiveness. Grace is the invincible advocate of freedom and the absolute expression of perfect love.” -Gerald G. May, M.D.
I never thought about addiction and grace in this type of connection until I started to read this book. It’s truly amazing how the author intertwined the idea of grace, sin, the Scriptures, and addiction in such a miraculous and interesting way; how the human body and mind work through an addiction and how that same human body and mind can be set free completely from addiction through the simple power of God’s Grace and His Word. The author really sheds light on the importance and the power of God’s Grace and how it’s our only hope when dealing with this epidemic which we call addiction.
We were created for love…God created us, human beings, to love, to be loved, to feel and act on love, and to live in love with Him. May states, “…our creation is by love, in love, and for love. It is both our birthright and our authentic destiny to participate fully in this creative loving, and freedom of will is essential for our participation to occur.” So how does this relate to someone being in addiction? We are not totally free because the addiction is working against this true freedom to participate in this lifestyle of love. The addiction “uses up” the desire that is suppose to be put forth towards our desire for love, God’s love in our lives. Everything that the addiction consists of…the objects, the people, the time, the lifestyle, sucks the energy out of the person, the energy that is suppose to go into God and His love. The person ends up worshiping the addiction with “love” instead of God and His love. Our desire of wanting love is hidden and misplaced, misused, twisted because of the addiction and what we put into our addiction. Our addiction limits ourselves from truly living in freedom and receiving the love we were created for, the love our hearts truly desire deep down.
The author does an amazing job getting into the “nitty gritty” of what addiction really is and how the mind and body work within addiction. He makes it a point to spend time in this subject because without knowing what addiction really is and how a person’s body and mind work in addiction, we can’t really understand the meaning of Grace and how it’s our only hope getting set free. May states, “Addiction is any compulsive, habitual behavior that limits the freedom of human desire….the presence of addiction should be suspected whenever interior human freedom is compromised…like three stair steps descending into slavery, feedback, habituation, and adaptation lead to addiction…God creates us for love and freedom…and grace is necessary for salvation.” I can go on and one with what the author is saying but I just want you to notice something; I want you to notice how the author keeps on bringing up the subject of freedom and slavery. Everything about us, our body, mind and spirit were created for freedom and because of what addiction really is and what it truly does, it brings us into slavery and bondage, which of course hinders our freedom. We have to really understand the slavery behind the addiction in order to fully understand the freedom outside of addiction.
Another point the author makes that stuck out to me is that he goes deep into God’s Word, the Scriptures, the stories, and the people to really help us understand the different forms and images of Grace that God offers and freely gives us, His Child, to get us out of addiction or any other sin we are living in. May states, “Grace is the active expression of God’s love…grace appears in many ways…addiction’s empty and idolatrous wasteland is transformed by grace into a garden of freedom and love.” The author does an amazing job connecting the addiction and grace, how they are total opposite and how grace can transform that slavery into freedom, that draught into a stream of living water. There are many scripture references stated in this book because the we need to be able to see grace being active and read of the transformations that happened to people from the Bible. If God did it before, He can do it again! God has lavished grace on His children since Bible times and He is still doing it today, no matter what addiction or sin people are in. It’s important to know how grace has helped and change other people’s lives in the past because it can give today’s addicts hope for their future.
I definitely understand addiction a little more after reading this book and it helped me understand my own past addiction even more. I want to be able to share this wisdom with the girls in the program because I don’t think they fully know the meaning of their addiction and the true meaning of what God’s Grace can do for them. I want them and me to take God’s Grace more seriously and more openly. This book really opened my eyes on how powerful grace is and I want these girls to know the power God wants to give them in order to live in freedom and love.