It is often suggested that an addict like me doesn’t love myself. But if I did not love myself I would be indifferent to my own needs… I wouldn’t care… I’d be indifferent to pleasure… I wouldn’t need relief… I wouldn’t get bored… and I wouldn’t chase the illusion that I am or need to be in control. The Bible says that I am a sin addict; a slave to selfishness; craving control. I need help to better understand how to love myself. I must accurately see in myself what God sees in me. The Word of God is the prescription lens to see clearly what God wants and has for me through real relationship with me.
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. John 8:34 (NLT)
Breaking it all down from the beginning, I suppose the first question to address is, why did God give me into this flawed human experience in the first place? Why am I here? Why didn’t God simply create me to live in the perfection of heaven from the beginning? If I was asked that question by one of my children, I suppose it might go something like this:
So God created me to live this human experience on planet earth. I wonder what all has to go right for my body to function at all; for my life on earth to even be possible. My problem here is that I am not God and am therefore flawed and vulnerable to harm. God has a purpose for my life that when left to figure it out on my own is a mystery to me. What does it all mean as I search for meaning, struggling through the obstacles laid out before me each day?
Is there a plan… a purpose in this thing called life?
What does it all mean considering the historical events of my life; hoping to live up to each expectation of me? What does it all mean in the face of the lies I have come to believe about myself and my place in the world? How has struggling to live up to standards I cannot possibly live up to worked for me so far? How do my feelings about life experiences affect the neurological reality of how my brain works, impacting the lifestyle choices I make going forward?
“Steven… It is right on. You did a lot of work and your study was directed by God’s eternal truth from the Bible.” —Randal Ross, Calvary Church, Chicago, IL