Playing for Keeps

In the New Testament, there is a story about a man and his demons:

24 “When an •unclean spirit r comes out of a man, it roams through waterless places looking for rest, and not finding rest, it then it says, ‘I’ll go back to my house where I came from.’  And returning, it finds the house swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and settle down there. As a result, that man’s last condition is worse than the first.”

To me, the verse is about getting sin out of your life and how to keep it from getting back in. As a person in recovery who has struggled to maintain sobriety, I have surrendered a lot of times, actually cleaned house and when I relapsed again it was that much more difficult to stop. My faith in 12-step programs was weak. Attending meetings became a chore or a sentence. It’s not. I know that, but I relate to the thought that you remove something and it comes back in a more powerful manner.

I’m tying that passage to Jeremiah 34:10-11

All the officials and people who entered into covenant to free their male and female slaves—in order not to enslave them any longer—obeyed and freed them. 11 Afterward, however, they changed their minds and took back their male and female slaves they had freed and forced them to become slaves again.

The part about taking their slaves again just really stuck out to me. What I related to is the taking things back. Freeing their slaves and then forcing them to become slaves again. It might sound funny, but so many times over the years I would throw away my ‘stash,’ never to be used again and then buying more sometimes in the same day.

That it was costly in a monetary sense, pales in comparison to my spirit and soul. But really, if I didn’t replace that addiction with something else, then I wouldn’t stay sober.

There has to be a change in the way business is conducted. Find something to fill the space that was left. A creative sort can come up with a lot of things.

Playing for Keeps

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