I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. – Romans 7:15 NLT
When I married my husband, an ex-heroin addict, I didn’t understand the effects of addiction on his life. He didn’t look, talk, or act like an addict. While we dated, I didn’t sense any red flags. However, once we got married, I was able to see the marks addiction left. We both knew Jesus had transformed his heart, but the residual effects of addiction reared their head after we said: “I do.”
When I read Romans 7:15-25 as a new Christian, it was comforting that Paul understood the cycle of addiction. No addict wants to be one; they want to change but feel like they can’t. They simply don’t know how to break the cycle.
The majority of addicts have experienced some sort of trauma in their life and use drugs, alcohol, or other vices to numb their pain. It’s temporary, but it allows the piercing hurt to go away. Addicts don’t want to deal with painful thoughts or memories. They’re too overwhelming. Yet, this is what Jesus challenges us to do.
He wants to walk with us through the door we’ve nailed shut. Jesus wants to heal the person that barricaded their heart to try to escape the pain. He wants us to face those hurtful memories and let Him heal them. Psalm 34:4 says, “I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears.”
We all have fears that keep us from opening that boarded-up door within us, but God desires more for us. To gain freedom, peace, and health, we have to open the door and walk inside the room with God. Ask Jesus to come alongside you as you forsake your addiction by opening the door to your wounds. He won’t abandon you in this process.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with an addiction, Jesus is ready and waiting to heal you.
1. Is there a door of pain in your heart you have nailed shut? If so, explore why.
2. Can you trust Jesus enough to walk with Him to that door and allow Him to help you open it?
3. Write down the name of one person in your life who you can trust. Someone who will encourage you and hold you accountable on your road to recovery.