Here’s a quote from the book “Authentic Faith” by Gary Thomas. “I must learn to accept some suffering as an inevitable part of living in a fallen world. These changes hurt. They are not easy. Suffering and change go hand in hand. If I refuse to suffer and refuse to suffer the discomfort of change, I will experience even more severe consequences as the idol increases it’s hold on my heart. I will be forever a stranger to experiential holiness.”
Idols are anything we give more of ourselves to than God. All sin is akin to addiction, and addictions enslave us. Some people have developed habits of sin over years. Breaking addictions is often a long and painful process, and I can tell you that even after you break the habit you still have to deal with what made you become an addict in the first place.
In this world we’re so used to immediate results, that when something doesn’t happen instantly we assume we’ve failed. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re doing all you can and you’re getting nowhere. We must remember habits are built over time, sometimes years, breaking them may take as long.
There is an initial period of suffering that has to take place as one breaks an addiction, but then the further you get beyond it the more freedom you experience. Having patience with yourself and others as you struggle to break free of those sins or addictions can make this process easier.
God sees us in the midst of our struggles, and He measures our successes as we should…minute by minute, day by day. We break sin and addiction by breaking it over and over again, until eventually it’s broken for good.
We can be holy, but “holiness may make your life more miserable in the short run, though far more joyful in the long run. If you insist on avoiding suffering at all costs, you will never be free of your addictions. If someone is truly serious about spiritual growth or overcoming a long-term bad habit, he or she had better be prepared to go to war.”
I’ve been through this, and for anyone who is facing these challenges I want to tell you that you can be free of them. God doesn’t stop loving you and He doesn’t give up on you, and with our amazing God all things are possible. There’s nothing no sin, no habit, no addiction that is bigger than God’s ability to take care of it.