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Dedicated to Self-Medicating

When I was a teenager I found that eating Cert Mints soothed my stomach aches.  I was always a very nervous guy, so when it came to preforming on stage or talking to girls, stomach aches would come along for the ride.  So I would just pop in a Cert and my stomach would begin to feel better.  Did I find that Certs had some kind of healing property?  No, I just had it in my mind that Certs helped, so I went through a ton of those minty rolls!

Many people today also try and self-medicate.  After all, we live in a society that wants instant gratification.  We value comfort, and the idea of us having to suffer or struggle seems unbearable.  There are many things that people self-medicate with today. Anything from, online shopping, social media, Netflix, relationships, to vaping, alcohol, drugs, or pornography.  While many of these things seem to soothe or help at a time of crisis, in the end we feel just as empty and unsatisfied as when we started.  I have seen many young people and adults who have been so broken by anxiety, sadness, and heartache, only to find themselves deeper in the pit of despair because of self-medicating.  Many will even try and sell me on the fact that what they are doing is working, even if it is causing them more damage in the long run.

Our hearts at TNT is to see people transformed and freed by the power of Jesus Christ, yet many are opposed to giving over their life to Him.  You know, it’s interesting that we will surrender our lives to anything and everything but Jesus.  Maybe it’s because we hate the idea of giving up control of our lives. But by self-medicating, aren’t we giving over control to something else?  Sure we say we are in control of our “medication” of choice, but if someone was to try and take it away or to get us to stop thinking about it, we would become distressed.  So who really is in control?  I know we want to instantly feel better, but we have to realize that we develop strength through the struggle!  We grow in adversity.  In fact, God often takes us through hardships so we realize our need for Him, and also to build our character.  Listen, I get it, I hate when I struggle!  In fact, as I write this, I am personally going through some struggles and my anxiety is on high alert. I have chosen to turn to my Jesus for His healing and strength.  I have the hope in Him that this to will pass, and that I am not going to struggle forever, but be redeemed.  When I go through these times my faith goes deeper, and my love for Him is re-ignited.

Today, I want to encourage you to drop the things that are empty and will not ultimately fix or satisfy you.  Instead, I encourage you to dedicate yourself to Jesus.  Allow Him to give you peace, rest, strength, joy, hope, and love.  You are precious, and life is more than self-medicating, it’s living in freedom. Freedom where your not just getting through life but your thriving and blessed!

 

James 1:2-4,12 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. 

Mike Wenger

TNT Youth Ministry: Executive Director