Thursday, August 10, 2006
Confessions of a Church Addict
In some ways I feel like an addict. I like to define addiction as this: Exchanging control for the promise of reward. I feel like I did that with a situation called church. I think I gave it control over me in exchange for a reward, which came in the form of place, recognition, and a sense of power. I think this is why I like reading about gambling. [see luckiestone] Gambling is not my addiction, but because I know myself well enough, I know that it could be. I'm in the process of detoxing from my addiction to church. [Please note: this is NOT an attack against what we call church] I looked to it to provide me something it was never capable of giving. Just like the gambler looking to the dice to deliver, I wanted something back, but came up seven-out. I loved being in front of people, playing music, hearing my songs sung, getting feedback from folks about my teaching or leadership, but it became my reward. I had no other place to stand. I became a nobody. This is a hard one for people to get. It took my wife a couple of years to figure out why attending church on Sunday mornings would send me into a tailspin for the rest of the day. The addict needed his fix, and it was nowhere to be found. Many of my friends are well-meaning, trying to encourage me by saying that it was not in vain, that the LORD uses us in spite our motives, but it still doesn't change the fact that I gave something away to get something illegitimate, that I feel like a poser, like an addict.