It is not revolutionary to state that addiction is difficult. As I reflect upon this last week’s sermon, that becomes self-evident and further reinforced. Whether it is substance abuse, pornography, technology, gambling, food or a myriad of other issues, addiction can seem helpless.
What is our response as a church? How can we feel like we can have any effect? Is it fair to ask if we are wasting our time? Am I wasting my time to take on a discipleship relationship with a person consumed with an addiction? Are we as a church wasting our time working with addicts? The answer is a resounding “No!” The answer is “no” because people are people. People are not pawns. People are not pawns in our game to grow a church.
If we see people as pawns to grow our church, or as pawns to help us personally advance in life, then we will see their struggles as a waste of our time—not to mention that we are blindly forgetting our own struggles. Just imagine if Jesus had that mindset. What if He would have seen the struggles of ordinary people as a roadblock to building His kingdom? If humanity had drawn up the plan for Jesus, He would have spent His time exclusively with the ruling elite. If humanity had drawn up the plan, Jesus would have never spent time with the leper, the woman with the issue of blood, the man born blind, nor His inner twelve for that matter.
However, all people are created in the image of God and therefore have infinite worth and value. The King knows this truth, but often we, His servants, can easily forget.
Let us be people who do not automatically calculate the time that people will consume, but let us see them as our fellow image-bearers. People are not pawns. We are all image-bearers with scars of a fallen world.