Does God care if you are addicted? I once spoke to a heavily inebriated and drugged man about his addiction. He dismissed my words by saying, “Don’t tell me these are wrong. God created everything.”

Yes, God created everything. But man has often abused God’s creation and used it for purposes God never intended. When God created tobacco, man took the plant’s leaves and smoked them, creating cigars and cigarettes. Now 1 in 10 adults worldwide is a smoker. 440,000 Americans die from smoking-related health complications each year.

When God created fruit, man allowed the juice to ferment and created an intoxicant which kills 2.5 million people each year. Alcohol abuse is responsible for nearly 10% of deaths in youth ages 18-29.

When God created marriage and sexual fulfillment, man corrupted it with lust, illicit sex, and pornography. 25 million Americans visit cybersex sites between 1-10 hours per week. Another 4.7 million spend an excess of 11 hours per week viewing sexually explicit material. Pornographic material accounts for half of all online spending.

How can we steer clear of addictions before they take root in our hearts? One of the basic steps we can take is to understand our flesh. The flesh is a monster within us which feeds on desire. Avoiding the settings which generate this desire is only half the battle. The other half involves replacing our sinful desires with legitimate things which will help us stay true to God.

God does care if you are addicted. You may wrestle with one of the debilitating sins I mentioned, or you may not consider yourself an “addict” to anything. The fact is, we all struggle with sin. Take courage, for God has given you everything you need to overcome. Victory is possible only through Him.

One leak will sink a ship; and one sin will destroy a sinner. — John Bunyan

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.