“As a dog returns to it vomit, so a fool returns to his folly.” - Proverbs 26:11
Isn’t that odd? Not the verse, but what a dog does. Why does a dog return to his own vomit anyway? If you’ve ever witnessed this, it’s a very odd behavior. The dog eats something so disgusting, and it is as if they can’t help but do it. It’s as if the dog is drawn to its own vomit; they cannot help but eat that very thing that they just threw up. If you’ve watched a dog ever do this, it’s not like the dog is reluctant about eating its own vomit either. The dog doesn't walk towards the vomit like, “I don’t know if I should do this. Last time it didn’t work out so well.” The dog cannot help but actually do it, and not only that, but the dog very happily enjoys eating its own vomit, something that moments earlier made it sick to its stomach.
And the proverb writer is making a statement about us; we are kind of like these dogs.
We, as humans, return to very things that are foolish. We return to certain patterns, behaviors, and sins over and over and over again. Like a dog, there are sins that we find ourselves drawn to; that we almost cannot help but return to them. At times it feels like we actually have no choice in the matter. We have sins and struggles that at certain times it actually seems like we are enjoying, yet moments later we are sick to our stomach thinking about what we were just doing.
“As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool returns to its folly.”
We are all addicted.
So we also return to the very things that make us sick. If we’re honest, when we look at our own lives, we all struggle with addiction. And if you are one of the few thinking, "Well, I don't struggle with addiction," you might just need to hear this. We can all find areas in our own lives that we are repeatedly drawn to day after day, week after week. Our addictions can be the commonly thought of - sex, drugs, and alcohol. But they can also be things like anger, the need to always be in a relationship, shopping, drugs, alcohol, video games, porn, Facebook, sports, chocolate, winning, cell phones, working out, gossip, lying, cutting… and the list could go on and on.
Some of us are addicted to things that by themselves, are sinful. Pornography is sinful, whether you do it once or whether it’s a repeated pattern. But others of us become addicted to things that in and of themselves are not sinful. Shopping is a necessity, but some of us cannot deal with a stressful day at work without going and spending money on our credit card. Shopping is not always sinful, but it could become a problem. Facebook in and of itself may not be sinful, but if you cannot build relationships with the people that you’re next to, because you’re too busy checking your newsfeed, Facebook may have become the center of your life and it may have become something that you are worshipping and have become owned by.
We all struggle with addiction. We all struggle with sins that own us, that master us. Addiction is a self-chosen slavery to something other than God. This definition is very important as we talk about addiction, because the way we define addiction determines how we talk about Jesus in relation to our addiction. Addiction is a self-chosen slavery to something other than God.
What addictions do you feel like are the most socially acceptable, while still damaging to the individual?