Addictions come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. When people think of addictions, or hear the word ‘addictions’, they automatically think of drugs, alcohol, gambling, tobacco, or a chemical of sorts. We fool ourselves when we limit what we define as addictions. The realm of addictions greatly surpasses a chemical dependency. People can be addicted to other people ... addicted to shopping ... addicted to relationships ... addicted to television, games, music ... the list is endless. We fool ourselves sometimes when we limit the reality of what an addiction can be.
In praying for revelation in preparation for this article, God laid upon my heart two specific individuals from the Bible ... both of whom had addictions. The first was David. If you study the life of David, he was a popular and mighty king of Israel. As a young lad he was a musician, anointed king by the prophet Samuel. He was a mighty warrior and accomplished great things. Then, he became addicted with lust and had eyes only for Bathsheba. Understand that this was a man of God. It is a prime example of someone who took his eyes off of God and allowed lust to fill his heart. In his determination to obtain Bathsheba for his own, he plotted to commit murder. What extremes our addictions will take us to if allowed. He finally found his way back, but only after great consequences. He repented and God would later describe David as a man after God’s own heart.
The second person God laid on my heart was a bit puzzling to me. I thought, “Really, God? What addiction did he have?” This person is Jonah and his addiction was extremely different than David’s. Jonah was addicted to having his own way. God wanted Jonah to go to Nineveh and help them repent. Jonah had a different mindset and went to great lengths to not do as God instructed. He did not feel the people of Nineveh were worth the effort; thus, he did not want to do as God desired. God had to take extreme measures to get Jonah back on track.
Two addictions but neither had a chemical dependency. Both dangerous and very destructive. As with chemical dependencies both had serious withdrawals and consequences. They also effected more than the individuals addicted, which all addictions do. Both David and Jonah could only overcome through the persistent love of Christ and realizing that through Christ we are more than conquerors.
1. Name some other individuals in the Bible who suffered with addictions;
2. How did they overcome;
3. What consequences did they pay for their addictions; and
4. Who else suffered as a result of their addictions.