Pigs to Promise Luke 15:11-17 Part II – (Addiction)

Luke 15:11-16

11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons.12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to[b] one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger

photo credit: sciencebuzz.org

We mentioned last week that real repentance can start from hitting rock bottom.  There is a real need, a real hunger.  There is desperation!  This boy might die!  He is in a terrible situation.  Not only that, he betrayed his family.  He ruined his father’s reputation.  He wasted his inheritance, and when he returns there is a rival good brother present as well, who will remind everyone even him, of the mess he made.  

There are a few things that could be happening on the way home.  Maybe he just wants food and he is willing to settle for being a servant in his father’s house.  He may never return to full fellowship, but at least he can go back to what he knows and not die.  The Prodigal Son now has a terrible self image.  He knows he is no  longer worthy and he can’t see things ever being like they were ever again. 

On the way home he might already be scheming in his heart.  I am going to act like I am sorry and just weasel my way back into the house.  My father will just forgive me and restore me.  After all, this is the kid who wasted his inheritance and decided his father’s name was worth nothing.  Unfortunetly, people with addictive risk taking personalities can be quite manipulative.  They will manipulate any well meaning person to get what they want.  They will even scam their close family, if it feeds there problem, their habit, their egotistical plan.  They will diabolically scheme like their life depends on it, because they might truly believe it does.

It doesn’t look like that is what happened with this son.  It seems that because he knew the father, and what he was like, he genuinely was probably sorry, hurt and remorseful on the way home.  So, when he gets to the father he can say, “I am not worthy to be called your son.”  He truly believed that.  He experienced the love of the father and he knew the frailty of his own heart.    The father raised him.  He was with him from birth.  He cared for him.  He treated him well.  The son on the way home was beginning to understand he blew it.  He was beginning to get the fact that no one owed him anything, and if you are going to go off on your own with your inheritance from your father, maybe you should respect his name and how you represent it.  He was finally coming to himself and realizing that he is not the center of the universe.  This is where repentance can begin.  

Now here is where I might loose you.  There is much talk about addiction and it being a disease.  I will agree to a point.  It is a disease that is most often self induced.  Now some people can become an alcoholic from the first drink and that seems much more unfair than the one who worked at it.  Also, some are raised in homes filled with drugs and abuse and that is what the child sees, so that is what they may choose to do later.  I understand we are not dealing with even playing fields here.  

But, if addiction is completely a disease and it is not a sin to continue in the behavior that is killing you or the people around you, then the gospel is of no help.  On that walk home the Prodigal Son needs to be moving towards repentance.  Part of AA is making restitution.  An addict can’t get out of it without some form of repentance.  They have to own their behavior and can’t blame chemicals, upbringing or anything else as the problem.  It is important to know what happened to you caused your choices that you made on some level, but your choices before your addiction and after it began are still your choices.  You have to start with a heart of repentance towards your heavenly father and remorse towards your friends and family whom you have hurt.  If an addict doesn’t start with repentance, they are not starting at all and haven’t hit the bottom.  

I will say it again, If addiction is completely a disease, the gospel of no use.  If it is not completely just a disease and it is also sin, that means a person can’t get well without repentance.  It must be part of the equation.  I believe true healing starts and ends with getting our hearts right with Jesus Christ.    

Thank you for reading. 

This was continued from:  

Eating with Pigs Luke 15:11-17 (Topical Tuesday – Addiction)

This post continues to:

Pigs to Promise Part III “The Father’s Love” (Topical Tuesday – Addiction)

Pigs to Promise Part IV “What About Me?” (Topical Tuesday – Addiction)

Some other Topical Tuesday Posts

Blessed With Depression (Topical Tuesday – Depression)

What is Reality? (Depression)

Why Don’t You Write More About Marriage?

 

 

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16 thoughts on “Pigs to Promise Luke 15:11-17 Part II – (Addiction)

  1. I find it interesting – and I didn’t really notice this until recently – that although the son was forgiven and brought back into the family, he did experience the consequences of his choices for the rest of his life. For a long time I thought it was as if the whole prodigal thing had never happened. But the fact is, he spent his inheritance, and Dad was not going to split what was left between his two sons again. Maybe that’s what the elder son feared when he complained. But the father assured him that “you are always with me, and EVERYTHING I HAVE IS YOURS.” Yes, there is forgiveness and restored relationship, but some consequences don’t just go away. This is a good argument against the (devil-inspired) thought, “I can always repent later.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! That is very insightful. I have never thought through to that conclusion about everything I have being yours, because it concludes with the saying about being once dead and now alive. So, the stronger statement hides it. But you are right, he is restored. Part of that is his inheritance that he already spent. He doesn’t get more. Grace w/ consequence. Great observation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We see this with King David’s illicit affair and attempted cover-up. David was forgiven, but he still suffered the the consequences of his action(s). In fact, God punished David with turmoil within his house for the rest of his days.

        By the same token, our sins were forgiven and God’s own Son paid the ultimate price for us. Of course, we could have never paid that price ourselves — because the price was so steep. That is why Christ had to come and pay it for us. God loves us SO MUCH, that He sent HIS OWN SON to pay the penalty for our rebellion, so that our relationship with God could be restored (the same relationship Adam and Eve had prior to their rebellion in Eden).

        WOW! Now there’s something worth seriously considering! \o/

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is true Karl<
        What is so interesting is we don't want to believe grace is big enough to restore us to what Adam and Eve had, and even take Paul's word that we are now brothers and sisters with Christ. But, we don't want to also accept the word on also that there is consequence to our actions. We think grace erases the fallout, but it doesn't at least not without others seeing our repentance and experiencing something different.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “If addiction is completely a disease and it is not a sin to continue in the behavior that is killing you or the people around you, then the gospel is of no help.”

    AGREED!

    In the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, the ‘disease’ of alcoholism is described as being a spiritual malady
    .

    “When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.”
    Alcoholics Anonymous, pg 64

    Thus, the first three (suggested) steps of the program of recovery…

    1) We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable.
    2) Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
    3) Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
    ibid; page 59

    The ‘program of recovery’ as originally implemented and adapted, is not a self-help program as some folks like to think. Rather, it is a program that helps one realize [Step 1] that they suffer from the spiritual sickness that is self-centered; and [Step 2</em] that of our own devices (cf; Psalm 5:10), we are powerless to change. Thus, [Step 3] we need the transforming power of God (His grace and mercy), to become ‘born again’ (from above; see John 3:3) and become “a new creation in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

    Many people do not know or realize that the “program of recovery” that A.A. promotes, comes from an in-home Bible study group (at the time known as the ‘Oxford Group’) and is founded upon New Testament principles. The founders and pioneers of A.A. were especially fond of the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ (Matthew, chapters 5-7), Pau’s agape love declaration in Corinthians 13, and the epistle (letter) of James.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for letting me know that. Can I pray for you in any way specific? You can send it privately through the contact page on my site – chaplapreneur.com too. God is not done! He paid the price so we don’t have to walk condemned. Mercies are always new every single day. Be blessed today!

      Like

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