Chasing Peace

Posted on May 4, 2013

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AddictionAuthor: Ken Lytle

Have you ever tried to figure out why so many people become addicted to harmful things? My work as a caseworker in the heart of a large city allows me to meet people from all walks of life. I work with the homeless, addicted, convicts, parolees, poor, etc. I have learned that “most” (not all) people become homeless, imprisoned, or chronically poor because of addictions. Drugs and alcohol are the chemicals that fuel addictions and other abusive activities.

I believe that most people abuse drugs and alcohol because they are chasing after peace-of-mind. They are hurting and broken and need something to numb the pain. We see more young people from poor and abusive homes using drugs and alcohol than those of healthy and financially stable homes. Do not get me wrong, there are many young people from all walks of life who abuse drugs and alcohol, but we find a larger number of people using drugs and alcohol to chase after peace who come from poor and abusive families. People who come from abusive homes tend to follow their parent’s example and start using drugs and alcohol at a young age to medicate the pain, loneliness, and hopelessness. 

Addiction is a vicious cycle. Abuse and pain leads to drug and alcohol use, which numb the senses… numbing the pain. This then leads to chemical dependency and addiction, which causes people to do “stupid” and harmful things… abuse their children, abuse their spouses, beat up someone in a bar, drive drunk, rob a store, steal a car, traffic drugs, become a prostitute, kill someone, etc……. leading to jail time, broken families, evictions from homes, destroyed careers, and abused, neglected, and hurting children who follow their parent’s example and continue the vicious cycle.

If you are have never drank or did drugs, please try to understand how this vicious cycle works. The chemicals in drugs and alcohol “numb” the senses. If someone is trying to run from their emotions, feelings, and pain, they can get high or drunk and their emotional pain will go away for a short time. As the days and years go by, most people need to use harder drugs and alcohol to reach that point of temporary “peace.”

Once a person starts to chase peace through drugs and alcohol, it is very difficult to break free from the chemical dependency that is created. The chemicals within the drugs and alcohol dig in their addictive claws and try to never let go… pulling the person into an early grave if possible. This is a tool of the devil and he has been successful in attacking God’s children for thousands of years.

As Christians who are called to seek and to save the lost in the world around us, we need to understand how addictions work. If we are going to successfully work the harvest, we need to understand why people do what they do when they are running from emotional pain and use drugs and alcohol to medicate the brokenness and hopelessness.

FACTS:
 > Millions of people are hurting, broken, and in need of Jesus
> God has provided us with forgiveness, healing, hope, and a missionary purpose in life (follow in Jesus footsteps)
> Jesus has commanded His followers to “GO into the whole world” telling everyone about His love, forgiveness, and freedom

QUESTIONS:

> How can you help those who are in need of Jesus?
> How can you intentionally share your faith at least once a week?
> Is there a homeless shelter, food bank, Boys and Girls Club, community service center, etc. that you can get involved in?

Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Let us stop being sleepy Christians and get to work for Jesus. The world needs to see Jesus through us… in doing so, we will finish the gospel work, Jesus will return, and sin, suffering, and Satan will come to an end.

Come soon Lord Jesus!!!

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Random Thoughts:

> The middle and upper class use and abuse drugs and alcohol too, but seem to be able to control it a little better because of education and the pursuit of money. 

> Everyone is born with a “God-shaped” void that only God can fill.  When we allow God to fill the void, we then and only then experience true peace-of-mind, joy, and happiness.

> Everyone needs to be invited to follow Jesus.  We need to tell everyone that Jesus (the Bible) is the only source of true peace-of-mind.  Don’t hide your light… let it shine for Jesus.  FACT: In reality, Christians cannot hide their gospel light… true Christians will shine for Jesus wherever they go.  Non-Christians can pretend to hide the gospel light, but truth is… if they are not shining for Jesus, they don’t have Jesus… it is impossible to hide the light if you have the light.

Posted in: Addictions