The Humiliation of Addiction
When I was a staff sergeant in the Air Force and started going downhill because of my addictions, many things began
to change in my life, and some of those things were very humiliating and traumatizing. I was demoted several times and still
had to work with those I used to supervise, I had to pull weeds at the front gate of the base where all the cars passed by
and saw me, I had to scrub chairs to be painted with a wire toothbrush while everyone in my shop watched me, I had to take
a tour of military prison because I might soon be a resident there, I had to report to my commander twice a day to take antibuse
(a drug that is meant to make you sick if you drink), and the list goes on and on. I still have nightmares over some of that
stuff, but God has done alot of healing in me to help me to forgive myself and others.
When we practice an addiction, it creates many humiliating circumstances to take place in our lives, we are fired
from our jobs, we are divorced, we are placed in hospitals or jails, we lose our licenses, our good reputation gets destroyed,
we end up with visible health problems that show people we practice and addiction, we are passed over for opportunities, we
may end up homeless, we lose our children, we lose our possessions, we get caught in lies, we cheat, we steal, and we do things
as people that we normally would not do without the addiction. These terrible losses and traumatizing acts can scar us and
create a stronghold of shame in our minds and and hearts, but God wants to heal and restore you to even a better future than
what you had before the addiction. But, you must be willing to forgive yourself to receive it all.
JN 8:1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where
all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in
a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the
act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?"
When you are caught in your sin and everyone finds out (especially if you are a Christian), it can
feel so devastating because the gossip, slander, and judgment that comes from people can be so hard to bear. I remember all
too well "The look" that people would give me when they saw me walk in, it made my skin crawl. I used to be a liked, respected
fellow human, and now it was like I had some disease or something that they all wanted to run away from. People love to judge
others and see them fail, because it makes them feel better about their own faults, so down their long superior noses they
glare at us. But God is not that way, He knows we are all capable of any unspeakable act under the right circumstances, and
He uses our failure as a bridge for redemption and salvation. God wants to use your pain to lead you to His healing.
JN 8:6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus
bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and
said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." 8 Again he stooped down and
wrote on the ground.
JN 8:9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus
was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one
JN 8:11 "No one, sir," she said.
"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."
You'll notice, the woman who was forgiven by Jesus didn't pick up the rocks and try to throw them
at herself, and neither should we. She accepted His forgiveness and pressed on. When these old memories of humiliation and
past shame come into your mind, it can be easy to condemn yourself and beat yourself up as a way of punishing yourself for
your crimes. Plus evil spirits will try to bring these things back up as a means to keep you down and discouraged, they want
you to hate yourself so that you will not have any faith to do anything for God. God has forgiven you the first time you asked
Him to, and there is no way you can pay for your sin. Jesus alone paid for our sin, so we need to stop trying to pay a bill
that has already been paid. When we do not accept Gods forgiveness, we are saying that we really don't trust in Jesus sacrifice
on the cross for our sins, we must stop making an idol of our sin and let it go.
RO 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through
Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to
do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin
offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met
in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
It is time to forgive yourself for all the terrible things you have done while practicing your addiction,
and it is time for you to forgive those who condemned you, and understand that we are all a work in progress. It took alot
of years and bad choices to get as damaged as you are, and it will take a while to fix you. Nobody is born perfect, some just
hide their problems better than others. You might be surprised at what dwells in the closets of most people, and I'm not talking
about bowling balls and old shoes. Even if you are currently practicing or relapsing in your addiction, God will still forgive
you if you are sincere and if you are trying to allow Him to help you. Ask God today to help you to forgive yourself for what
happened, and for Him to begin to erase all those bad memories that plague your thoughts and heart. God will never give up
on you and He loves you so much more than you love yourself. Forgive yourself today and understand that everyone has problems
in life. God wants to give you a brand new start today.
ISA 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they
shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.