Today I want to move forward in our “Resurrect Me” series on the addictions, compulsions and bad habits we ALL have in our lives by focusing on the next verse in our key passage (James 4:1-10), verse 3 …
“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” ~James 4:3
Almost always the source of addictions, compulsions and bad habits come from our desire for pleasure or at the very least the attempt to avoid pain.
It’s easy to spot the obvious pleasures that we become addicted to, but what about the subtle, more invisible pleasures that turn into addictions?
Sometimes we can feel a sense of superiority over those who are alcoholics, drug addicts, porn addicts, sex addicts, even food addicts, etc. I believe that is because we foolishly believe that “addiction” is not a part of our lives.
But can anyone really say that in all honesty?
I just don’t think so.
By that I mean, we have let our desire for that something or someone become so important that we will do whatever it takes to get that “pleasure” or “freedom from pain.”
Sadly, we will even sin to get it! 🙁
Some of the more subtle desires for pleasure look like:
- Anxiety that seems only to be calmed by trying to take control in a situation.
- Anxiety that seems only to be calmed by worrying about a situation (an internal form of “control”).
- An overwhelming need to impress others by how we dress, look or what we achieve.
- A driving desire to be accepted by others to the point of insecurity when we don’t get it.
- Over-involvement in church, work, or volunteering activities, because we feel like it fills a hole that our spouse or God isn’t appearing to fill.
- A nagging and strangling need for an offender to admit his/her wrong attitude or actions to us.
- A restlessness and continual doubt in the Lord because our suffering and loss isn’t stopping.
- A chronic demand for validation from our spouse that turns into resentment when it isn’t offered.
- Constant pressure to make money because you never know when the bottom might drop out!
- A longing to matter to someone so much that we lose sight of what really matters.
Can you check off at least one of those subtle bad habits above?
I struggle with the need for control and often let my anxiety propel me into micromanaging. I get dangerously close to the line of wanting to “dress to impress” more times than I like to admit. I have someone in my life that I’ve resented far too long for not acknowledging the hurt that’s been caused in my life. #forgivenessfail
I could go on, but you get the idea!
So … if a pastor’s wife who loves God deeply, who typically spends at least an hour in God’s word every day (really not trying to brag here, but drive home a point!), and who tries to live a life that is honoring to God can still be tangled up by, at the very least, bad and destructive habits, then who is immune?
I think the first step toward experiencing the “resurrected life” that Christ can give us by freeing us from our addictions is to recognize that we’ve let our desire for pleasure or freedom from pain consume us in some way or another.
Hello, my name is Beth and I am addicted to control, etc., etc., etc.!
So how do we find freedom from that addictive source? Well, I know one thing … it isn’t by simply quitting or removing the temptation from our lives. I’ll continue to unpack what it DOES mean next week. I hope you’ll join me!
Which of the subtle addictions above are you or have you gotten tangled up in?
Why do you think it’s easy to overlook the destructiveness of these more subtle addictions?
Today I am with my hubby Gary at a Peacemakers conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado, getting our Peacemakers certification! 🙂 So I will not be able to visit the blogs of those who linkup or comment for this Wedded Wed. In fact, this month is a VERY busy one for me, so I may not be as engaged as I like to be, but you all are in my thoughts and many of you are in my prayers! Thanks so much for your support of MM! xxoo
Joining with my friends at Giving Up on Perfect, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Coffee and Conversation, Coffee for Your Heart, Sitting Among Friends, Family, Friendship and Faith, DanceWithJesusFriday and Wholehearted Wednesday.
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