I read recently about certain ants that have a passion for the sweet glandular substance given off by the caterpillar of a large blue butterfly. According to the article, the ants can become so enthralled by the substance they carry the supplier into their nest with great delight. What they don’t realize is that the caterpillar gorges himself on the ant larva. Usually such a threat would be attacked by an army of ants and destroyed or repelled. However, because they enjoy the caterpillar’s tasty secretions so much, they become “addicted” to it. In so doing they are oblivious to the fact that their young are being destroyed!
In reality most of us are addicted to something. It may not be drugs or alcohol, but anything we habitually or compulsively use or do to avoid facing our inner unresolved problems (such as fears, hurts, losses, anger, guilt, inadequacies, etc.), is an addiction. It may be work, religion, gambling, spending, eating, smoking, relationships, sex or any of a score of other things–some of which can be very tempting and very enjoyable. Of one thing we can be sure, when our life is being controlled by addictions, we don’t grow and we can damage and even destroy our children, our closest relationships, and our physical, emotional or spiritual health.
Besides, an addiction is often a counterfeit of the real thing and when we settle for the counterfeit we can stop ourselves finding the real. Only when we are ruthlessly honest with ourselves and admit to God and at least one other safe person that we are addicted can we get God’s help to face the causes behind our addictions and seek the help we need to overcome them.
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