The numbers concerning addiction are truly staggering. Nearly 25 million Americans used illegal drugs last year. And another 15 million abuse prescription drugs. Some research indicates 30% of people will experience an alcohol-related disorder at some point in their lives. In the US 2.8 billion dollars is spent every year on pornography. One third of all internet downloads are pornographic.
And the problem is huge in the Christian church as well. 80% of churched young people report having tried alcohol, and 38% have tried marijuana. 50% of Christian men and 20% of Christian women report being “addicted” to pornography. These numbers should sober us as individuals, as a society, and as a church.
But even those numbers tell little of the personal devastation caused by addiction. Children going without food, innocent people killed by drunk drivers, homes, businesses, and careers lost, men, women, and children abused physically, sexually, and mentally, families and lives devastated because of addiction.
And the most devastating cost of all is to the soul of the person held in bondage by an addiction. That may involve overwhelming guilt, separation from God and others, fear of hell, and a sense of powerlessness to do anything to break free.
Yes, addiction is powerful. It changes one’s body and brain, robs one’s finances, destroys one’s relationships, and wreaks havoc on one’s soul. It’s one of the enemy’s most successful tools to bring pain and destruction to God’s children.