by TAC TEAM with Dr. Mark E. Shaw
Part 1 (of 3)
John (age 36) is seeking the same high from his usual drug of choice from one of his usual dealers.
Jake (age 15) is experimenting with vaping for the first time. His friend at school gives it to him so he can “stay focused” as he studies for finals.
Drug Distributor Donnie (age 21) receives a new batch of pills for a better price so he can make more money, more quickly. He decides to test it out with his girlfriend first…
Fentanyl overdoses occur in each of these scenarios.
Who’s to Blame?
It’s not China’s fault.
It’s not a failure of law enforcement, and it’s not because we need some new discovery, or gene therapy, or deeper understanding of the brain!
The reason fentanyl use is exploding is because of the inventiveness of the sinful human heart! Jeremiah 17:9 puts it this way:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
People like John, Jake, and Donnie, who go try drugs so they can feel or appear a certain way have a number one enemy: their own heart! Yes, their own heart’s desires are tricking them!
They truly believe fentanyl “works” – (Just like marijuana, heroin, cocaine, alcohol, and other drugs seems to “work” for what is ailing the human heart.) And granted, it does give them what they are after, but only for a moment.
Going After the Heart of Addiction
So at The Addiction Connection, we aim to go after John’s, and Jake’s, and Donnie’s hearts with the message of the Hope found in the Good News of Jesus Christ. Will you help us get the message to their hearts? This isn’t an appeal for financial contributions. I am asking for you to get involved in person-to-person speaking the truth in love. Let’s begin by talking with people in our neighborhoods, our workplaces, out other circles of influence-talk about Jesus setting people free from their own heart desires, forgiving them, and saving people for eternity. We have seen many Transformation Testimonies of God’s grace. Everlasting life is at stake. TAC offers training to help you! And our podcast is full of helpful practical discussions that are applicable to John, Jake, and Donnie…
… and to you, because we are all in the same Jeremiah 17:9 situation here on earth. You Have a Gift to Offer Hope for the Addicted Heart. Read these verses from Romans 12 and think about the evil of the fentanyl crisis, think about using the gifts God has given you in salvation and wisdom, and think about how you can love those around you by bringing them the urgency of Jesus’ message of hope. We can overcome this evil with good.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord…
…Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all…
…Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 8:1-11, 16-17, 21, ESV)
If you need fuller understanding of God’s Word and what is at the heart of addiction, get training. Get wisdom from other Christ-followers, study the Word of God, pray for wisdom, and let’s get going.
The Addiction Connection “TAC TEAM” assisted with this article.
Mark E. Shaw, D.Min., CADAC II, CABC, IABC, ACBC, Founder and President of The Addiction Connection, is the author of the new booklet, Fentanyl, the first release in The Transformation Series; Cross Talking: A Daily Gospel for Transforming Addicts; The Heart of Addiction: A Biblical Perspective; and Relapse: Biblical Prevention Strategies, which are all available at Focus Publishing for bulk discounts by calling 800.913.6287. Mark resides in the northern KY, greater Cincinnati area with his wife and four adult children, where he serves Grace Fellowship Church as the Director of Counseling.