I’ve never been addicted to any substances.
I’ve never tried any illegal drugs.
I’ve never smoked a cigarette.
No one has ever told me that I need to go to Alcoholic’s Anonymous.
Addiction is a terrible thing and thankfully God’s grace has kept me from falling into that trap.
Even though I’ve never had any destructive addiction like those listed above, I have had trouble putting down my phone or the controller when playing video games.
The most recent game to dominate my time and keep me up too late is 2048.
One of my friends told me about 2048 last week and, in that time, it feels like I sunk 2,048 minutes into the game. Like all great phone games, 2048 is simple and addictive. It’s a great game to play while waiting in line or wanting to waste five minutes. My problem is that I ended up wasting way more than five minutes.
On Tuesday night I opened 2048 and thought that I’d play it for five or 10 minutes. 90 minutes later Alycia told me that she was going to bed and 60 minutes after that I eventually went to bed myself. So after almost two and a half hours I decided that I couldn’t control myself and needed to delete 2048 from my phone.
I wish that rooting out all temptations were as easy as deleting an app.
While I’ve never faced serious addiction, I still wrestle with sin and temptation every day. Some days I flee from temptation and other days I run right into its arms.
I feel like Paul who wrote, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” We probably all feel like that sometimes, wishing that we could hit the little “X” on our sin and delete it from our lives forever.
Even though we may give into sin, because of Christ we are no longer defined by sin. We are given a new nature in Christ, one that is made righteous through his blood spilled on the cross. And even when we run into temptation’s arms, we can still trust in God’s grace and mercy.
God’s grace and mercy aren’t just there for us when we make a mistake, though. It is God’s grace that empowers us to flee from temptation, to delete it from our lives, to repent from it and move on. Grace like that may not be as easy as deleting an app, but it is much more powerful and longer lasting.
Games are just games and we shouldn’t worry too much about them. Anything can become a temptation, though. And instead of running headlong into that temptation, we should trust in grace and its power to lead us out of temptation.
How do you trust in grace to flee from temptation?