For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you.
When I think of the word “addiction”, I immediately think of a compulsive dependence on drugs or alcohol; a serious condition that can really wreck one’s life. For the purposes of this devotion, I want to focus on a wider definition that would include any sort of bad habit that diminishes a life of wholeness and takes away from a life God has called us to live. It is important to state that if you or someone you love struggles with a serious addiction to drugs or alcohol, please consider many of the options available for help.
For this resolution, I invite you to break a bad habit. St. Augustine wrote several essays about the concept of inordinate or disordered love. The idea being that we have many loves in life (and that is ok), but that sin comes into play when these loves are prioritized into an unhealthy order. When we love something more than we love God and more than we love our neighbor, we are falling short of the wholeness and purpose that God has created us for. Sometimes that can be big things like loving our sense of financial security, our wealth, our home, our car, our status more than God. More often it is smaller things.
Personally, I find myself on my phone more than I should be. If I look at the end of the day at how much time I wasted looking at my phone in contrast to how much time I spent praying, reading Scripture, or helping my neighbor, I am ashamed. I challenge you to take a hard look at the “loves” of your life. What are your priorities? Is there something you do every day that takes away from how you answer God’s call to love Him, love yourself, and love your neighbor? I invite you to pick an inordinate love that is part of your daily life and break that habit so that you may more fully respond to God’s call to be and to do.
Merciful God, thank You for loving us. Forgive us for placing so many things before You. Help us to break the habits that distract us from focusing on You. Strengthen us to be Your disciples and instruments of change and love in this world. Thank You for Your unending grace and mercy. In Your name, Amen.