The Right Kind of Dependency
Every one of us is addicted to something. We are. The most prominent addictions are, of course, to substances, as this seems to have the most visible side effects, yet other addictions are more quiet, and just as soul destroying. Some are addicted to shopping, or gambling, or going on trips, or working, or any other number of supposed mundane tasks. These don’t seem so bad on the outside, and are, in fact, celebrated by society (society benefits from you making and spending money, so why wouldn’t it?), but really, they can take their toll on a person, financially, mentally, in their family, and spiritually. Other addictions are physical, and deal more with sexual encounters, such as with porn or affairs, or deal with adrenaline and pushing one’s physical boundaries by doing more and more crazy physical activities for the sake of “feeling alive.” Again, these are not really balked at, and, at times, are celebrated by society because “it makes you happy.” But all of these things, from the chemical to the physical, begin with “if it makes you happy, do it!” And all of these can end in broken bodies or broken relationships. I’ve seen marriages destroyed by sexual and physical abuses, I’ve seen families lose their homes over financial losses, and I’ve seen people destroy themselves financially, physically and emotionally chasing their happiness.
I’ve been in some of these categories before, to a degree that, when I gave my life back to Christ, I was in a 12 step program. I’ve put myself as part of groups, and even tried to help people with their dependencies. The most success I’ve ever seen, though, is in replacing dependencies on the Physical with one of the Spiritual. Every 12 Step I’ve seen that has any varying degree of success calls upon a “higher power,” something larger than one’s self to get us out of dependency. The only Higher Power I’ve seen ever be truly successful has been in Jesus Christ. In Jesus, we don’t merely treat the symptom of dependency, but we become dependent on Him, and He not only refreshes us, but makes us new. He transforms us completely, fixing the problems we and others have done to us, and He can change your life and transform anyone completely. Jesus is the right kind of dependency, and I have found that He always provides, and has proven it over and over as I depend on Him. As I turn my life completely to Him, my whole perspective changes, and I can endure whatever may come at me without reverting back to my old self and ways.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.