Rarely would we entertain the thought that some Christians have their own drug of choice. Often, we only relate that to the drug addict, the sex addict, and the alcoholic. As I mentioned in a previous post, the thing these individuals have in common is 'Pain'.
I have been in the Christian community for many years and I have seen much, but there is a malady that has picked up momentum and caused some destruction within the church.
I have learned that whatever we didn't receive from our parents growing up, can greatly impact our adult lives if we are not careful. Not everyone is aware of why they do what they do in the way that they do it. Not all recognize that they have been functioning dysfunctionally.
Someone asked me a question once and I answered with all honesty. They asked me if a family could still have dysfunction within with both parents in the home. I answered, yes, it is possible. Dysfunction doesn't mean only one parent at home. It speaks to the emotional and physical availability of that parent/s.
If there is a single parent household that is missing the loving presence of a mother or father, that speaks to dysfunction within that family unit. There will be consequences felt by all due to the absence and lack of involvement of that parent. When there are both parents within the family, yet, one parent or both parents are unconcerned, lacking emotional support and love, that is a dysfunctional household. It simply means that that family and its offspring won't be able to flourish and grow as they aught. There is a disconnect that will impact the lives of the female children and the males under its roof.
I had a friend (RIP) who was divorced, but she was the best mom a child could have asked for. She sacrificed everything for her children. She gave and gave. She bent over backwards and then some, yet, her children struggled emotionally and psychologically. It didn't matter how good a parent she was. They are still reeling to this day, due to the physical and emotional absence of their father. A good mother cannot be a father!
Children not only need the presence of two parents, they need parents who love them and who are emotionally invested in them. This helps to ward off dysfunction.
So where am I going with all of this? We all need to be affirmed. We all need to be acknowledge for our very existence. Family dysfunction robs children of this. When they are affirmed, they receive the emotional support and encouragement they need to make it in this life. "The lack of one, or both parent's affirmation leaves some children to be emotionally crippled" (a quote I read, unknown author). This is so very true!
Children grow into adults who are either well adjusted or not. Dysfunctional children struggle with self esteem, insecurities, and a lack of confidence. They suffer from a lack of intimacy! Many of these individuals grow up to become valuable members in society, but there is always a cloud that hangs over them. When they don't get their way, or life isn't nice to them, you see the dysfunction rise to the surface. They always seem to be proving who they are and what they can bring to the table. Some are controlling and abusive, while others are manipulative.
This leads to my opening statement about Christians and their drug of choice. Not all of us have worked out our issues with God. Some are trying desperately hard to find love and acceptance through various ministry areas. It is the thought that being gifted or talented will bring the much needed attention and affirmation they need. This is a sad mistake. Although they may get to run that ministry area, it can never substitute for what they are lacking emotionally.
The church has frequently been a place where people can hide out. We dress up, present the picture we want others to see, and we show our talent. When the crowd grows thin and the lights dim, we are left without our self worth. We revert right back into who we really are. For some, the drug of choice is being in the lime light, heading up ministries, and participating in anything that puts them in the forefront of the people. They are in great need of intimacy.
The cure for all maladies, emotional and otherwise is an intimate relationship with God. You can be in a church all your life and never come into who God is and who you were to be in relation to Him. You can read your bible and pray often, yet be disconnected spiritually. It is possible. An intimate relationship with God requires your heart to be exposed with everything in it at all times. No secrets, no lies, no justifications, or hiding from God, is what is needed to find peace, contentment, and fulfillment. Many believers are living in unrest because they fail to be honest and upfront with God about their lives or the pain they're in. This results in hidden lifestyles, among other things. Some may justify things by the mere fact that they are a Christian, taking that blanket and tossing it over their heads, thinking this makes everything alright, but it doesn't.
Satisfaction, gratification, and joy comes when we are living in our truth as it is open before God. We can now experience His peace, His healing, and His power. Without that, we're just an opening act that never gains its audience. People eventually see what is there to see. We are all transparent to some degree. It doesn't take long for people to see what your problem is. They end up walking away chalking you up to be just another attention seeker. They tolerate your presence and talk about you behind your back.
We have a duty to pray for those who are suffering from such addictions. Don't feed their drive for affirmation in unhealthy ways. Don't be intimidated by them either, just be an example before them. Leave God to handle them. If they are truly saved, they will have to come full circle sooner or later. If you are in a friendship with someone who struggles with this, love them enough to approach them about it.
A lack of affirmation is crippling! The beauty about God is that once you connect with Him, you can have as much intimacy as you need. You will walk away satisfied and gratified. There will be less and less of a need for the attention of others or the praises of men!
God's approval is the only thing that matters!