Addiction: the Antithesis of the Greatest Commandment

[Originally posted on April 1, 2014]

By Jacob Toman

In Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus replies to the question, which is the greatest commandment? 

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

In summing up what it means to serve the Lord, Jesus points to love. Love speaks and acts on behalf of the one loved. Love looks to benefit from, and benefit for the person or object that is loved. Love is worship, and worship is love. Love isn't an option - you will love someone - whether that someone is yourself, or someone else. What does love, and worship have to do with addiction?

Addiction, whether to drugs, lust, or a hobby, is always an act devotion. Addiction in every form, is worship-forsaking the worship of the creator for the created. Addiction rearranges the priorities of the one enslaved. When a person is addicted life ceases to flow in a form that pleases God. Even for "functional" addicts that may cover their tracks and hide the addiction under the cover of darkness experience a disruption in their relationship with the creator. God the maker becomes God the side-kick and ultimately ends with a denial of God's rule over all of life. Addiction is the exact opposite of what we are commanded in Christ's words of Matthew 22. Instead of prioritizing the love of God and the love of neighbor, addiction demands first and eventually exclusive priority. 

Gaming addiction (board, video, sports, etc), like any other addiction, is an enslavement to worship something created rather than the creator. Here at Gospel & Gaming we are honored to enter into the culture of gamers and bring the message of the liberator who came to free his people from the entrapments of addiction, sin, and the slavery we all daily experience. This freedom is one which teaches us wisdom, to worship God the creator rather than the created.