Thursday, February 3, 2022

Afflictions, Addictions, and All the Issues

 Thursday, February 3, 2022

Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. John 5:14-15

Afflictions, Addictions, and All the Issues

After Jesus had healed the lame man by the pool at Bethesda, He found the man in the temple and told him to go and sin no more so that nothing worse would happen to him. This leads us to believe that the man’s condition was a result of some sin in his life. 

Sin is a big part of all the things that paralyze us in our lives. Sin affects us in so many ways as well. It can physically make us sick - by abusing our bodies and by worry and stress that it creates in our lives. I am certainly not saying that all sickness is a result of sinful behavior. People just get sick, tragedy strikes and bad things happen beyond our control. 

What are the things that make us paralyzed in our lives? We may not lay on a mat for 38 years but for many of us, we might as well. We allow ourselves to be paralyzed by things in our lives that keep us from living in victory and the power of Jesus in our lives. 

Lots of things can paralyze us and keep us from the healing we have in Jesus: 

•           Addictions/obsessions

•           Physical conditions

•           Emotional/mental conditions

•           Financial issues

•           Relationship issues

•           Fears

•           Unknown – no knowing what will happen off the mat. We know the mat.

•           No help – waiting on a rescuer – out of hope

•           Change – it is hard and uncomfortable

•           We lose our will – stop believing

•           Lack of confidence – victim mentality – it is impossible for me to change

Go and sin no more – Jesus told this man to go and sin no more. It is not the only time in scripture where He says that. He also said it to the woman caught in adultery in John 8:3-11. Jesus knew what had caused the man’s condition, even though the Bible does not say what it was. It does imply it was a result of some sinful choices. Jesus was reminding the man that he had this opportunity for a second chance and he didn’t want to end up right back on his mat for the rest of his life. If he did, he would have wasted the opportunity that Jesus had given him to live in the victory and freedom that was his. 

Have you ever done something like that? Addiction is a powerful force and many people that struggle with addiction have broken free from it only to go right back to it. Why do abused women get free from an abusive partner and go right back? Or why do we pay off a credit card only to charge it right back up again? It is a very defeating feeling to find yourself right back where you started and Jesus understands this. He understands the human heart and our compulsion to run back to whatever we think will fill it, but the very thing we think is filling it up is paralyzing us and leaving us right back on our mats. 

Jesus’ words, “Go and sin no more,” were a warning against a return to sinful lifestyle choices, to not go back to what put you on the mat in the first place. They were said with grace and challenge, because with a change, there is an expectation that we will move forward and not go backward. We will not continue in sin, but repent - turning away from sin. Grace because He knows we will never achieve sinless perfection, but He knows that we will be changed. The power of the Holy Spirit, which we receive when we become a Christian, breaks the power that sin once had over us.

What is it that has you paralyzed in your life? When sin makes a mess of our lives, Jesus delivers us. We then have a choice to walk in victory or run right back to the sin that messed us up. Make the choice to walk in victory and run away from what paralyzed you.


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