There are few things in life that one savors more than their very freedom. Countless men and women throughout the ages have fought, bled, and died for such a dream. As Americans, we have been incredibly blessed to live in the land of the free and home of the brave. We wake up in our beds in homes we have picked out in the neighborhood of our own choosing at whatever time that we have determined works best for our schedule. We get to decide what we will wear, where we will work, and where we will go. We enjoy the luxury of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness along with freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, and the right to vote. But have you ever thought for a moment what it would be like if it was all taken away? How would you feel if you suddenly became powerless to enjoy all of these privileges that you have always held so dear? What if one day an enemy suddenly invaded your life and bound you in chains and carried you away into the captivity of their barracks?
The truth is there are many things in our lives besides a heartless militia or terrorist organization that threatens to take away our freedom. This is not always an enemy that is as easily spotted or recognized. This sinister thief comes in the form of pleasure and entertainment and promises of a good time and a full life, but its end delivers quite the contrary as what ensues next is a bastille of pain, guilt, shame, and fear. To experience any of these is to know the cruel prison of addiction.
Ronnie Crocker, a member of the Lord’s church, penned the following poem while incarcerated in state prison: “Bricks and bars do not a prison make alone, a prison there is also stronger than steel and stone, created is this bind, by the working or own spirit and mind and the way out no one, can find, if they choose to remain blind.”
Those who trust in the Lord find the words of Richard Lovelace to ring ever true: “stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage.” Outside of the walls of confinement, there are multitudes imprisoned by emotional, psychological, and spiritual suffering. Yet, even from behind prison walls there are those who find themselves free from such oppression (Rom. 8:2, Gal. 5:1). Being free or being imprisoned by life is essentially a state of your own mind’s choosing.
So many have withered away in the dungeon of addiction for centuries. This prison is harboring as many today as ever, and I used to be one of them captive and enslaved to polysubstance abuse for 17 years of my young adult life. The realization is heartbreaking that many of our own brothers and sisters in the church are still suffering in silence due to the stigma and shame of this affliction. Addictions can take on many forms: gambling, shopping, eating, social media, music, sex, nicotine, caffeine, work, or even emotional outbursts such as anger. In the beginning, their lure is sweet and inviting but, in the end, the bite is bitter and agonizing (Prov. 23:32). Addiction is a spiritual problem and requires a spiritual solution thus making this area a work of the church.
Westhill is launching a
work that can offer hope of escape from these shackles of despair.
ARC is a program intended to help people win back their lives and fight against their addictions. It blends the concepts of the 12-step model along with the Bible to use faith in Christ to discover recovery, healing, peace, joy, and fellowship.
Group study and support are offered weekly as well as one-on-one mentoring. If you are looking for true freedom from the pain of addiction, please “Come & See” this wonderful work of reconciliation with God, and let’s recover together.
“So, if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed…” – John 8:36