I post so often about drug addiction stories and famous actors, musicians, politicians, etc. that it is becoming difficult to keep current on all of these very sad stories. Most recently, the death of Prince dominated the headlines as fans mourned the loss of his musical gifts. He certainly pushed the envelope of sexuality in the 80’s with his music. While I obviously disapprove of what Prince’s work symbolized, I am nevertheless sad about his passing and view it as a real tragedy yet I am hopeful for redemptive aspects to come from it.
Recently, I asked a medical doctor his thoughts on the Prince tragedy and here are some of his comments to me:
Price’s death is a clear example of how addictions of the heart cross all socio-economic planes.
Of particular interest and concern is the increasing prevalence in society of narcotics which are so potent that they have heretofore only been administered by anesthesiologists in an operative setting.
It is not uncommon to find folks in their eighties who have chronic pain syndromes and have access to fentanyl. Make no mistake this medication is extremely effective at hitting the opioid receptors and are 100x more potent than morphine. Fentanyl is extremely effective for pain relief. However, self administration of this medication in a non-monitored setting is lethal.
What begs the question is what is at the heart of the desire to seek out this medication???
For those who suffer with chronic pain syndromes, it is oftentimes a real test of faith to not fall prey to the prideful thoughts that I do not deserve this pain and I will do anything to make it stop. This is a true physical and spiritual battle which many lose.
In Prince’s case with repeat attempts at narcotic withdrawal, it appears that Prince’s god was the rush and high of this potent narcotic and not a chronic pain scenario. Although I should stress that in no scenario is anyone right when they either pridefully believe pain is for the other guy OR when they seek out the rush of pain killers.
Stated differently he seemed to pursue a feeling to fill a need or dare I say a void. When someone pursues lethal substances to achieve brief periods of “good feelings” one has to be saddened at the blinding effects sin can have in this world.
Praise God there is an answer to sin and a cure and that is the Gospel. Let’s hope that this tragic death can motivate souls to RUN to Jesus rather than to their death pursing hopeless empty promises marketed by this world.
Fentanyl is not a drug to underestimate. That’s one reason for this post: don’t mess around with any drug, much less fentanyl. It could be fatal.
Secondarily, substance dependency is primarily an issue of misplaced dependency upon something other than Christ. That dependency will eventually lead a person astray and into harm. In Prince’s case, the real tragedy is that he may not have truly trusted in Christ alone for eternal life. Some speculate that he did. I sure hope so for his sake because he is now face to face with God and very aware of the truth. It is reported he was raised a Seventh Day Adventist and later in life converted into a Jehovah’s Witness. Those close to him know what he believed. Others of us are left to examine the actions of a person because those behaviors reveal the true beliefs in one’s heart.
None of us are his judge but I am confident of this – he is now before the Judge: God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While not professing to be trusting in Christ alone in interviews, he talked about a knowledge of the truth but in the end, it is difficult to know if he was truly committed and following Christ. You would think someone who was repentant for his sins would announce his regret for his songs that promoted disobedience to God’s Word. That may sound judgmental to some of you but evaluating one’s actions is all one can do and he will answer to God – not me, not you, and not anyone on this planet.
Repentance is only offered in this life – while alive – and offered by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. While it may be too late for Prince to repent and believe, it is not too late for you to repent and place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life.
Everyone loves John 3:16 and I do, too, but a verse from the Bible we often ignore is John 3:36 which reminds us of a stark reality: Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
-Mark (hopeful the death of Prince will lead some to consider their eternal destiny in order that they might repent and trust in a God of love, justice, mercy, and grace)