At the prayer stand today a woman came and asked how to help her neighbor who is a drunk. She's got bills with "fees on top of fees" because she puts all her money into drink. She said her friend has "given it to God" over and over again and wondered what else could be done.
I said, "Have you discussed repentance with her? God could care less if you've "given it to Him." What He really wants is for us to hate our sins and turn from them. It is not repentance until we become deeply grieved that we have offended the Lord."
I also told her that this woman doesn't have a drinking problem. She has a religious problem; it is idolatry. You are either a slave of God or a slave of some other thing. Her master is her drink. And the only way to escape that bondage is to acknowledge that she has been worshiping a false god and participating in a false religion [with all its attending associations, i.e. fellowship of friends, temples (i.e. bars), etc.]
I then affirmed that Christ can release her from that bondage. He died and rose again to break the power of sin and give us life. But if she wants deliverance, she must truly embrace Christ and the whole of the Christian system.
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Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.