Monday, May 09, 2005

Just This One Time

Our middle schooler asked me the other day why I am against a lottery in our state. "Is it because Nana is against it?" he asked. My Mom is a bright woman so it's not that farfetched to follow her lead. But no, I have other reasons. A major reason has to do with the addictive nature of gambling. Many people think they can play a lottery (or blackjack or poker, whatever) without getting hooked, but you don't really know. Some people seem more vulnerable to a gambling addiction than others.

And some fall into alcoholism easier than others. Or pornography. Or drugs. Even sex. Addictions are hard to predict. As mentioned in last week's post, many teens fall hard, often when they leave home and head to college. They are convinced they won't be hooked. Teens tend to have an "it won't happen to me attitude," and then they go ahead and dabble in whatever it is. And when they fall, it is hard to get back up.

For example, have you seen photos of people addicted to meth - aka ice, crank, or speed? They get what is known as Meth Mouth , horrible decay and rotting of their teeth. These people can see the damage they are doing to themselves, they look in the mirror every day, and actually see the horror right there on their faces, and they cannot stop using. I bet, pardon the pun, most victims started out thinking they'll try it just once.

God's Word is like an umbrella of protection. When you obey His commands and live by the wisdom in the Bible, you can avoid many of the worst pitfalls such as a drug habit or a sexually transmitted disease or a drunk driving accident - at least insofar as it depends on you. God promises when you face temptation to provide a way out. I hope you will look for that escape and stay under His protection. Don't fool yourself into believing you can handle it on your own. How much you depend on Him and stay close to Jesus will determine whether you wade through the temptations of life victorious or defeated.

"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." I Corinthians 10:13