Even the worst case scenario is great with Jesus. A life in Christ means that I can look forward to even the bad days. Instead of taking away my happiness and enjoyment of life, having a relationship with God actually makes life more meaningful.
My life is a thousand times better now after I have given up all the things I thought that I could never part with. Drugs, alcohol, lust - all of the things I thought I could never live without, things I would cling to and made a part of my very identity - I have now removed from life and I have never been happier, felt more free, and experienced life more intensely.
QUICK NOTE: Drinking alcohol in moderation is 100% great and should be done by those who can drink without it causing problems.
I specifically remember my struggle with giving these things up. I always questioned why it was so hard to simply NOT do something. Why was it such a strain, nearly impossible, for me to just NOT drink alcohol? I looked at these vices so dearly, I would sooner part with friends and family than give them up.
And then looking through this lens at God and the Church, I knew that choosing a life with Christ would separate me from these things I held to be too precious to give up. I couldn’t do it. I though giving my vices up for God would be too much of a loss. I thought it would leave me empty, always in a state of longing, and never satisfied.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wow, if I had only known what God does in the soul that is in communion with Him, I would have signed up for it from the very beginning. I don’t know why it’s so easy to miss out on this, but we really need to get the word out. God obliterates the life of those who truly seek Him with peace, joy, understanding, knowledge, love, and goodness.
I use so many words because none of them really capture fully what He does. My problem was drugs, alcohol, and sensual sins. In my daily quest to battle those and cling to God, He shows up. If you struggle with other vices or sins, He will do the same for you.
As humans we have this natural tendency to cling to the things of the earth. There is an inordinate gravity that pushes us down to the lower things of our existence, Theologians have named this concupiscence. We think that if we let go of these earthly things than we will float off into oblivion filled with sadness, distress, and longing for what we lost.
We misunderstand. There is something far better than what holds us to the earth and if we let go we will soar to unimaginable heights in total security and satisfaction. The truth is that we don’t lose anything when we give things up for God.
This is really important. I was in the depths of utter sin, despair, and darkness. Onlookers must have put me in the category of those considered to be without any hope of salvation.
The point I am making is that if I was able to do it, anyone can. There are only possibilities in living life with God. We lose nothing! It’s like not eating a crumb of a giant delicious apple pie. You still get the whole pie, do you really miss that crumb? Plus in this understanding, that crumb is our vices and has enough poison in it to kill you so you’re far better off without it.
This exercise of giving things up for God can be applied to more than just my sins of hedonism. Truly anything that we put before God, anything we cling to over Him and others to our spiritual detriment is weighing us down. We can give those things up as well to become lighter and more easily moved by the Spirit to live deeper, more meaningful lives.
I can’t explain it any better than that. One must give up to receive and know what I mean. It’s not a secret knowledge like the Gnostics claimed and coveted. It’s better and for everyone.
We need to get this message out. Life with God is better than a life without. And please do not just take my word for it. Let God show you what a life of true beauty and fulfillment is really like.
If you are seeking more information on how you can give up your sins, vices, and addictions, look for our new e-book 7 Steps to Overcoming Addiction soon to be released!