( When I originally published this I used the wrong title, “One Love.” Perhaps now you’ll “get it.”)
Hi. My name is Kyle and I’m an addict. I don’t know how it happened, God knows I didn’t choose to be this way, but nevertheless I am. I’ve known it since I was a teenager. I’ve been told that I was born this way, that I was genetically predisposed towards addiction, or perhaps the shame of being sexually abused as a child triggered something in me. What ever the reason – I’m still an addict. Furthermore, despite knowing in my heart that abusing drugs is wrong, I like it. I like getting high. I use to be real militant about it. I explained to people that it was my body to do with what I want. I defended myself by asking others what right they had to judge me, or impose their sense of morality on me. On my journey to Jesus, I even tried to figure out a way that I could still get high and serve the Lord. And even after falling in love with Jesus, I have still battled addiction. I’ve been to seminary, been a Worship Pastor, preached countless sermons, and still there have been times that I have struggled.
As I grow in my relationship with Jesus, the question of right and wrong has become less an issue as I have realized that the sin of it all lies in the fact that my addiction is toxic to my relationship with him. As I have gotten to know Him, I have come to understand that just because getting high is something I like to do, and may want desperately to justify; it is clearly something He does not want for me. Even now that laws are changing, and certain drugs are being legalized and accepted in the mainstream, I know it is not His will for me. I also know to play the “I was born this way” card is a cop out and in reality an attempt to circumvent what I know in my heart to be true. So what’s a guy to do?
The fact is that in every relationship there are parameters and expectations. There are also repercussions and consequences. I know there are some things I simply don’t need to do, things that could lead (have led) me into dangerous waters. I don’t refrain from these things out of a sense of duty or fear, but rather love. Getting to know Jesus, experiencing His love, His life and His freedom cause me to want to obey Him. The fact of the matter is being with Him means more to me than getting high. It’s relationship, not being good that has become my motivation. In the times when temptation has come, His love has kept me. And in the times that I have failed, His love has embraced me. I like what Jesus Himself said, “He who the Son sets free is free indeed.” The implications of those words are staggering- all encompassing FREEDOM!!
It is my earnest prayer that my “transparency” will help and encourage you no matter what you may struggle with. We don’t have to “redefine,” run and hide, or seek to justify our lives. We only hurt ourselves when we do that. Instead we can come to Jesus and experience the freedom to truly live and love.