Summary: Are all addictions bad? Not according to Scripture.
Today, there are all types of addictions and many who have them:
One in four Americans are nicotine addicts. They are dependent on smoking.
One in six Americans are shopping addicts. They always having to be buying and taking advantage of every sales event.
One of every seven Americans are addicted to internet surfing and role game-playing.
One of every eight Americans has a significant addiction to alcohol or drugs.
One in nine Americans are addicted to porn.
One in every ten Americans are addicted to gambling.
Then, there are those who are addicted to sugar, food in general, sports, and the list goes on.
I believe that a person can become addicted to just about anything. Are all addictions bad?
In a sense….no!
Did you know that the Apostle Paul praised one family in the church for being addicts?
1 Corinthians 16:15 reads this way in the KJV - “ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints.”
The Greek word translated “addicted” in the KJV is Tasso. It means ‘to wholly give oneself to something’, ‘to devote oneself completely to something’, ‘to appoint oneself to a position or task.’
Most modern translations have the verse saying that the household of Stephanas “devoted” themselves to ministering to the saints. And, when you read this and other New Testament passages regarding Stephanas and his family, you will find that they did devote themselves to other Christians by showing hospitality, meeting basic needs and assisting and supporting preachers such as Paul. Their life was consumed with looking for opportunities to serve other Christians. They were, in a good sense, addicted to the ministry of the saints.
Today, I want to look at some things that we need to be addicted to as Christians. I want to look at four things to which, according to God’s word, we need to show great dedication and devotion.
1. Addicted to the Ministry of the Saints.
I suppose our first addiction has already been highlighted. The Apostle Paul highly commends the family of Stephanas for dedicating themselves to serving other Christians. Paul holds them up as an example for all of us.
Before I speak about serving one another, I need to speak about association. In order to begin serving one another, we must have contact with one another. There has to be interaction.
One things that catches your attention in reading about the Early Church is the fact that the early Christians were in frequent contact with each other. They were with each other quite a lot -
Acts 2:44, 46, “And all those who had believed were together, and had all things in common….And day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart.”
The early Christians were around each other a lot. In fact, it says that they gathered together daily…some in the outer Temple and some in each other’s homes. They would have meals together. They prized fellowship with one another and shared in spiritual gladness.
I truly believe that is something that we need to do much more of. Many of us do not see each other except at our Sunday worship service. What is worse is that its not uncommon to go the whole week without even talking to each other. In an age of telephones, cell phones and instant messaging, that is a shame.
Fellowship is vitally important. Fellowship promotes spiritual growth. It provides an opportunity to encourage each other in our Christian walk. It provides peer support for Christian living. It provides opportunity to get to know how each of us are doing so that we might know if there is a need to serve.
Paul commands us, in Romans 12:10, to “be devoted to one another in brotherly love.”
I would like to urge each of us to place a higher priority on our fellowship. Make a point of, at the very least, making a phone call each day to a member of our congregation. It doesn’t have to be a long call or a deep conversation. Just a check to see how we are doing. Calling a different member each day would be a mutual blessing.
And I would like to see if we can’t get together - as a congregation - during an evening sometime in the midst of our week. Surely, if the early Christians were able to meet daily, we can make time for each other more than a mere once a week.
Becoming addicted to serving fellow Christians must begin with getting devoted to fellowship
Another Spiritual addiction we need is:
2. We need to be addicted to Prayer.