Some of the people on my “most admired” list have been addicts—addicts who no longer justify and feed their addictions. They changed.
It invariably resulted from a series of agonizing crashes in life that brutally jolted them to conclude that the pain of continuing in addiction was worse than the pain of changing. So they admitted their plight, cried out for God’s help, accepted professional care and committed to a lifetime of overcoming their destructive habits. Every day may be a physical, emotional and spiritual struggle, but they stay clean.
I admire them because they inspire me. Living testimonies that even the most extremely difficult problems can be overcome are motivating and encouraging.
You see, I need to change. You need to change too.
Severe addictions are only the extreme states of destructive behavior. You don’t have to be such an addict, however, to behave badly and hurtfully. And all of us—no exceptions—struggle with various destructive habits and pulls.
Also on the “most admired” list, at the top, is the One who made it possible for each of us to change every one of our destructive habits.
The core concept of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which we strive to convey in The Good News, is the promise for the future that the world can, and will, change when He returns. The core concept of God’s way of life is the promise for the present that you can, and will, change when you turn to Him. Your life can be better now in the same ways the entire world will be made better after Christ returns.
This issue focuses in large part on helping those battling various addictions. Those without such struggles might scan the contents page and think, even sympathetically, “Well, I hope this helps some of those poor people—and thankfully I don’t have their problems.”
If you feel these matters are not relevant to you, at least read Jerold Aust’s article, beginning on page 18, about the greatest and most unrecognized addiction of all. It explains a common addiction we all share, and why we’re heading for a crash! Our collective bad behavior has led us, exactly as Jesus prophesied, to a precipice where human life can be literally destroyed, and it’s scary how itchy are the fingers on the trigger! Our individual bad behavior has led us, also as He prophesied, to eroding our relationships with God and each other.
We need to heed an old country proverb: “If you keep on doin’ what you’ve always been doin,’ then you’re gonna keep on gittin’ what you’ve always been gittin’!”
However, trying the same old superficial changes that we think will mend our lives—where we live, our governments, our jobs, our marital status, our philosophies, etc.—won’t work. Until we align our thinking, actions and character to conform to God’s, we will only continue to plod down the same weary path of history. But how?
For many addicts, only a structured intervention by friends and professionals helps them admit they need to change. For humanity at large, a structured intervention is coming when Jesus Christ returns. With His loving intervention we will confront the need and commit to change, and those who turn to God for help to stop doing what we’ve always been doing will start getting a new life!
But for you, dear friends, why wait until He returns to start changing? Why not begin now to make your life better? Change is possible! GN