This past weekend, I went to a birthday party for a dear friend and spent time talking to another friend who lost her college-aged son recently to a drug overdose. Our eyes swelled with tears as we reflected on the senselessness of his death. Most had no idea of his addiction. Only a few fellow students knew he was enslaved by a substance more powerful than his own will. Of course, he thought he was actually free.
The problem with addiction is often times your freedom is so limited that you can no longer see you are being held captive. And whether the addiction is drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, or some other vice, the addicted person never really asked for the dependence he or she now experiences. Choices were made to disregard parental wisdom, inherent good, or the effects of sin, but there was no choice to give away the ability to choose. It is as if one ventured down a darkened road with plans to return home, only they are unaware that the road they hoped to return on no longer exists.
Addiction is many ways makes it impossible to live a stewardship way of life. Stewardship is about giving all that has been given to us back to God and His people freely. Addiction robs us of the ability to give ourselves away freely. When in the chains of addiction, we have given ourselves over to an earthly master. Both God and this earthly master of addiction want all of you. Yet one gives you free will as a gift, while the other rips it away from you.
Those of us who strive to be good stewards have the choice to do something for those who have been captured by addiction. We can pray, raise awareness, reach out to those who think addiction is only about someone else, or tell the story of those who have died as a word of caution. We cannot allow people whose beautiful lives have been snuffed out to be forgotten. We have that choice. We must choose to bring forth light for those who can only see darkness.
There is always hope. Please follow the links below for more information about combating addiction: