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How Far Can Addictions Go?

Really, I’m curious. How far is too far for addictions? It is all too sad that we’re becoming numb to the idea of marriages splitting over porn addictions. We are pretty callous to family members falling into their coffins over cigarettes—until it is one of our family members of course. Then, there are the cases where people rob their kin folk for some crack. But, are heists, death and divorce the worse it will get? Apparently not. Recently, a Chinese couple—you won’t believe this—sold their children to feed their video game addiction.

A couple, Li Lin and Li Juan, fell in love after they realized they shared hobby interests in internet café gaming. Soon, they stacked up to three kids. Then, lately, to feed this mounting addiction, they sold their three children for roughly $10,000 to afford their habitual fixations. The couple then reported that they had no idea it was illegal to sell their kids. Hm.

Although, this shouldn’t catch us by surprise. In Romans chapter one, Paul lays out for us all the ways that sin has grown worse over the millennia. He then notes that people are constantly inventing new ways of doing evil (Rom. 1:31), and people applaud them for it. We’ve seen this with drugs, pornography, homosexuality, and increasingly with pedophilia. It is quickly growing popular to commend such acts in the productions of entertainment. Although they may not be blatantly explicit, nonetheless, there is an underlying celebratory tone to these practices. How long until it becomes commonly applauded for people to merchandize their children to make ends meet, including addictions?

But, what about those addictions that we really just don’t address with our friends? Like food, TV, coffee, shopping, etc.? Or maybe perhaps even friends? Those are addictions too, aren’t they? At this point, maybe you’re wondering, “that depends on how you define addiction.” My answer is: how does God define addiction? Well, in talking about addictions, Paul says, “I will not be mastered by anything [other than Jesus]” (1 Cor 6:12). Then, Jesus says, “no one can serve two masters” (Matt 6:24). Why not? Because, he says, “you will hate one, and love the other.” In other words, we cannot love God and love an addiction. The truth is, the way God looks at it is this: To have an addiction is to hate God. That’s pretty hard to swallow isn’t it?

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