Drew sat down in front of me as a beaten-down, middle-aged man. I could tell by the circles under his eyes and the unhappiness on his face that he was miserable. When I asked him to share why he came for counseling, he said, “I’m having marital problems, and I want help.” He talked about how he and his wife, Kono, fought with each other and argued a lot about money and their finances. He said their three kids were starting to act up because of their arguing.
As we discussed his marital problems in more depth, Drew revealed the real reason he and his wife fought so much: he had a cocaine addiction. Before he became a Christian, Drew had used cocaine habitually. But after becoming a Christian, he had not used cocaine until recently.
Drew said, “Kono and I had a good marriage. But then I started feeling a lot of stress from my job, and I made some bad financial choices, which put us in a great amount of debt. I was tempted to do cocaine again to deal with the stress. I prayed, read my Bible, and even fasted to try avoiding the temptation. But those things worked for only a couple of weeks. Finally, one day I skipped work, got the cocaine, and used it at home while Kono was at her job.
“Afterward, I promised God and myself I wouldn’t do it again. But a week later, I slipped up again and I got more cocaine. Kono came home early and caught me. She went ballistic, and we started arguing. After things calmed down, I promised her I’d never do it again.
“But three weeks ago, I went on a one-week binge. I called in sick to work, disappeared, and spent ten thousand dollars on cocaine. When I returned home, Kono threatened to kick me out of the house. So that is why I’m here today, because I know she’s right. Even though I’m a Christian and I truly love Jesus, I need help.”
“Drew, I appreciate your honesty,” I said. “I cannot personally help you, but Jesus definitely can. With that in mind, my next few questions are crucial. First, do you believe you are addicted to cocaine?”
“Yes,” he said.
“Do you believe your addiction is a sin?”
“Yes, I sure do.”
“Is it possible that you have learned to cope with stress and negative feelings by your addiction to cocaine?”
“Yes, I can see that perspective now that we’ve discussed it.”
I pressed further, “When you feel the temptation to do cocaine, do you feel as though two sides within you are battling each other? For instance, do you tell yourself you don’t want to do cocaine, but also feel attracted to the temptation? In other words, do you feel as though a civil war is going on inside of you?”
“Yes, exactly!” Drew exclaimed. “And it scares me to feel so hypocritical inside. I thought being a Christian was supposed to help get rid of temptation. Instead I almost feel like there is a good Drew who is getting overmatched by a bad Drew. I want to do the right thing, but I still seem to do the wrong thing. I feel like I’m fighting against myself, and it’s so depressing.”
Drew’s situation is similar to what many Christians feel about life today—stuck and hopeless. A major part of this problem is that they don’t know who they really are.
This is an alarming problem, because true identity is one of the most central truths God wants us to know. The Bible shouts this truth so loud that you can’t miss it. But a confusing misconception can lead many Christians, just like Drew, to doubt their true identity. The misconception is the cunning lie from Satan that we are holy and evil at the same time.
Mark Maulding, President and Founder
© God’s Best-Kept Secret: Christianity Is Easier Than You Think