For Christians and other people who believe in God, addiction can shake a person’s faith to their core. Addiction does not seem to belong in the same world as one a perfect God created, and our minds balk at how separate the two concepts are. It is true that addiction does not belong in the presence of God, but despite the pain and ugliness of addiction, God is very much real through out it and wants addicts to turn to him for recovery.
It is common for addicts to reason that God cannot be real because a loving god would not allow for something as devastating as addiction. This is a common misconception about the nature of God. People assume that because God is all powerful, he is responsible for everything we experience. This stance negates all responsibility we have over our own lives. God, in his perfection, does not encroach upon our free will. He restrains himself from taking our freedom from us. We misuse our freedom because we were created to depend on God, which is the reason that addiction exists.
Another misconception is that addiction is more real than God. In the midst of addiction, this can feel very much like the truth because addicts are far from God and consumed by addiction. Addicts struggle to feel God’s presence because essentially they are living to serve their addiction rather than serve God. Whatever we choose to serve becomes our reality and the center of our lives. The choices we make to worship false idols rather than worship God, our creator, are the very thing that drives us from his presence.
The bottom line is, whatever we choose to surround ourselves with and immerse ourselves in will consume us. Giving God control of our lives will surround us with his goodness, grace and love, while giving addiction control of our lives will surround us with despair, heartbreak and regret.