Any good drug worth consuming has side effects. You’ve seen the commercials for a particular pharmaceutical: may cause ulcers, fatigue, dizziness, bleeding gums…
Sounds tempting, eh? Suddenly, to lower your cholesterol, you are potentially adding a bevy of new symptoms to your list. To get rid of one health concern you have to be willing to take on twelve more.
The world is very much the same way. The overwhelming temptations that the world offers us are on par with any drug. You take it down in the hopes of it relieving one symptom–be it loneliness, depression, or inadequacy–only to find that while one may gain temporary relief, you also begin to experience the painful side effects of the world.
The world is a drug, Christ however is the remedy. We can swallow down the world’s drug or choose Christ as our cure. Both, however, carry significant side effects:The world tells you self-sufficiency is key.
Side effect: an inability or unwillingness to serve others in humility or allow others to serve you.
God says: “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.” Psalm 37:5
The world sells confidence as a virtue.
Side effect: confidence in one’s abilities, not confidence in God.
God says: “…we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'” Hebrews 13:6
The world promotes sex as casual, cheap, and not worth protecting.
Side effect: people enter marriage broken and damaged from years of sexual immorality or never marry and continue in the empty and painful cycle of sexual sin.
God says: “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1Corinthians 6:20
The world says you can do anything in your own strength, through your won ability.
Side effect: when a person fails to “do anything,” they are left feeling defeated, hopeless, and/or angry.
God says: We “can do all things through Him who strengthens” us. Philippians 4:13
The world says anything worthwhile is immediate, with no waiting period and no pause.
Side effect: when people do not receive what they want right then and there, they are left disappointed and unable to cope with the lack of immediacy.
God says: “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.” Psalm 62:5
God however has the answer to all of the “world drug” symptoms and side effects. He offers us not a painful alternative, but a life-saving solution: The Holy Spirit through our acceptance of Christ. God stands in direct opposition to the world. The side effect of following Christ is this: the Fruit of the Spirit.
As we consume God, so to speak, the natural side effects of a life submitted to Him become apparent: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
The world is a drug of deception and confusion, harm and fear. God is the remedy for our minds, spirits, and soul. Loving Him and serving Him produces sweet fruit, the natural byproduct of a life cloaked in Christ, free from the harmful side effects of the world.
What, if any, “world drug” symptoms have you suffered from? I have struggled with pride, anger, and not believing God. What are some of the significant side effects of following God you have experienced?