How to Kick Your Jesus Addiction to the Curb
Have you ever struggled with a Jesus addiction? Trusting in the Spirit instead of yourself? Giving your anxieties to the Father because he loves you? Confessing your sins—like a person with problems!?
Maybe during the pandemic, you kicked your Jesus addiction, but now you’re afraid that with everything reopening, you might backslide straight into a worship service.
Fear no more. Here are six easy ways to make sure you keep Jesus right where you want him: in your past.
1. Level up your social media to Bible reading ratio!
It’s time to delete the Bible app and hide your NIV in the junk closet. Instead, hit up Instagram. Read the NYT. Or login to your ESPN app. Trust me, it’s more entertaining and makes the time fly! Why let your rising anxiety and insecurity lead you back to God’s steadfast love when you can accept the gentle embrace of a good doom scroll?
2. Become a Political Extremist!
These days everyone’s picking a team. Have you found yours? It feels good to be on the right side of history and know that everyone else is evil. All of Jesus’s nonsense about loving enemies and forgiving others is a real drag when you’ve got the perfect slam dunk on Twitter. Sure, you might have some awkward thanksgivings. You may lose some friends. But at least you’ll know you’re right.
3. Trust bloggers instead of your Christian friends!
Whether you like a stiff glass of Glennon Doyle or a cold brew of conspiracy-theory-toting-Instagram-mommy-blogger... there is someone out there who knows how you should live your life! Don’t let friends who know you, love you, and want you to walk with Jesus distract you from the advice of way cooler people on the internet. I know it’s awkward to ignore friends’ texts and calls and invitations, but it’s only because they appear to care about you. Don’t let those slippery serpents tempt you with the false fruit of love and concern.
4. Let the news tell you what to believe!
Every day I roll out of bed and open up CNN to find out what I believe. If that’s not your flavor, maybe try NewsMax? The point is, I don’t need Jesus to know what’s right and wrong anymore. I don’t even need the opinion page! These truth warriors and fact-checkers never force you to think through things from multiple perspectives with gracious nuance. Instead, they crunch up reality into bite-size brain nuggets that taste better than Taco Bell!
5. Don't come back to church!
Internet church was fun for a while, but let’s be honest, it’s been a minute since you’ve heard the Bible taught. This isn’t so bad because now that you’ve had space from God’s truth, you’ve begun to realize how old-fashioned and uncool it is. You might think you could survive one return visit, but don’t risk it. Between the music and the sermon, you might actually feel God’s transcendent, unconditional love for you. You might even realize you’ve been missing him far more than you realize. I don’t know. Sounds a little sus to me.
6. Embrace your addictions!
It’s hard to be alone with yourself. What if you actually start to feel something? What if you discover how lonely and empty life really seems with God? There’s an easy cure. Find your addiction. Maybe it’s alcohol, TV-binging, pornography, video games, food, online shopping, cigarettes, or worse! The main thing is to find whatever distracts you from reality and numbs you to yourself.
There’s so much more I could say, but let me end on an encouraging note: if you’re feeling farther from God, fixated on next your bonus, or totally positive that most of everything you (and your friends) used to believe is probably dumb, bigoted, uncool, naïve, and out of touch because they’re a bunch of sheeple… well, you’re on the road to recovery.
Okay. Let's be serious.
I’m just like you. This last year and a half have been hard on my faith. I don’t feel closer to Jesus than I did before the pandemic. I’ve felt a cooling in my love for God and my conviction of his goodness. What I once found easy-- reading the Bible, praying, and building community-- now feels like a strain.
Sometimes I find that joking with myself is the best way to wake myself up to reality. So that’s what I’ve done here.
Here’s the bottom line: there’s nothing I want more in my life and in your life than to love Jesus more.
But a year and a half of unhealthy habits—mentally, physically, and relationally—are hard to break.
Jesus does not expect you to come to him fixed. He expects you to come to him broken. So, if you saw yourself in this, well, welcome to the club. Bring it to Jesus. He loves. He forgives. He reunites.
We all know that the pandemic has taken a toll on every aspect of our lives. But how do you assess the toll on your spiritual health? Here are 4 signs that show the effect the pandemic had on your faith.