The ever-present nature of Christ’s love is one of the key tenets of Christianity. As a Christian, you know, accept, and embrace the love you feel from Jesus at every turn, both in good times and in bad.
In fact, this truth is so known that it is included in a popular hymn called “Jesus Loves Me” that was written by Anna Bartlett Warner. First appearing in a poem in the 1860s novel Say and Seal, the lyrics state “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” And it’s true – throughout the Bible, messages of Christ’s love are clear, demonstrating the passion Jesus carries for each and every one of his followers.
This question plagues all followers from time to time but often arises most prominently in periods of turmoil in life that result in an ultimate questioning of the teachings of Christianity. Addiction, inevitably, is one of these times.
Christianity and Substance Abuse
As 1 John 2:16 states, “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” In other words, the temptations in life, like drink and drugs, are not a part of a Godly life, especially not in abundance.
These teachings start early, especially for those dedicated to Christianity from a young age. The perils of sin are a common point in Sunday School, Bible Study, religion-oriented coursework, and prayer as an adult, providing a common thread that sends one clear message: overindulging for the sake of pleasure is not a characteristic of a good Christian. But what about those who do?
Even the most devout and pious among us make mistakes and fall into the clutches of evil. As Romans 3:23 reminds us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” However, this reality can be hard to accept, especially when sins appear to arise out of one’s own personal weaknesses. It’s not uncommon for a few wrong moves to lead to a downward spiral, creating a rift between a believer and Christ.
For some, the wake-up call that stems from a step toward sin is all it takes to right a wrong, beg for forgiveness, and continue on a path to righteousness. But for others, this is the start of a horrible habit, creating irreconcilable differences between belief and behavior.
Reconciling Spirituality and Addiction
The Bible is full of warnings about substance abuse, from Ephesians 5:18 – “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit” to 1 Peter 5:8 – “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” – making it easy to arouse feelings of guilt in those who choose to imbibe. With this in mind, it’s understandable how conflicting use and faith can be.
With every drink, toke, or dose, you may find yourself feeling regretful, ashamed, and embarrassed. You may wonder why Christ’s guidance can’t alleviate your urges, or why you can’t use your faith as motivation to quit. You may even find yourself wondering whether Christ loves those who turn against him.
These thoughts, however toxic they may be, are a common struggle in addiction. Many Christians fighting against substance abuse find themselves consumed with questions about the reality of Jesus’ love. Some even doubt whether he truly loves them. In this time, it is critical to accept that Christ’s love is a reality, whether you’re in a healthy mental place or not.
Why Does Jesus Love Me?
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20
Simply put, Jesus loves you because you are a follower of His faith and a believer in His word. That’s all it takes to create a loving relationship with the Creator and his son. Christ gave up everything for our sins and loves us all the same, no matter our transgressions while living on the humanly plane.
Keeping the presence of Christ in your heart throughout addiction and into recovery can be a powerful force on the road to sobriety. When facing addiction, it’s common to feel isolated from friends and family members, or to assume that other people don’t understand. This can be a hard hurdle to overcome, and often results in additional use and abuse, despite your goals. However, realizing that Christ loves you regardless of your sins, mistakes, or shortcomings can make these feelings easier to bear. No matter how others have responded to you throughout addiction, Jesus loves you, will continue to love you, and has always loved you.
Still don’t believe it? Think of Christ’s sacrifice. As Romans 5:8 states, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus loves his followers so much that he was willing to die so that we can pursue eternal life. We are all honored in his sight, whether we can feel it today or not. Isaiah 43:4 even tells us this explicitly: “Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.”
No matter how dark the depths of addiction may be, Jesus will be there to guide you when you are ready.
Embracing Christ’s Message
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” – James 5:16
The road to recovery is never easy, no matter how strong your faith may be. However, reaffirming your beliefs and adhering to a Godly life can be a critical part of achieving abstinence. By accepting that Jesus loves you, even when your addiction is at its most serious points, you can find the strength you need to move forward.
At Road to Freedom, we can help you on your journey, guiding you through a balance of medical science and faith to find a customized approach to recovery. With tools like doctor-supervised detox, group and individual counseling, Bible study, church services, and more, we’ll help you find a solution that’s right for you.
Please contact Road to Freedom today at (844) 402-3605 to learn more about what we have to offer. All consultations are confidential.