Addiction – I Corinthians 16:15

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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We had someone close to us struggle with alcoholism. Once inebriated, he became obnoxious, violent and extremely abusive. It cost him relationships and his marriage when he inflicted physical injuries upon others around him. Eventually, with great hardship, he was able to remain sober for seven years. Then, a so-called friend convinced him that he had been sober long enough that he could drink again, and everything would be okay. What happened was predictable. He relapsed into binge drinking, abusiveness, and constant intoxication.

What are you addicted to: coffee, prescription drugs, nasal spray, work, television, sports, or electronic gadgets? Whether we realize it or not, most of us are addicted to something. We need to be careful about what we allow ourselves to be constantly drawn to. The Apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 6:12, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”

Most addictions are bad, but there is one that is very good. Paul brings this to our attention by using the addiction of one entire family as an example. In I Corinthians 16:15 he said, “I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas…that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints).” These believers made a conscious decision to consistently fill their lives with activity that would spiritually minister to others. We assume this meant giving encouraging words, prayer support, being there in time of need, sharing the Word of God, challenging others when their spiritual legs grew weak, and more. They followed the example of Paul, expressed in his words, “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all…” (I Corinthians 9:19). Oh that all of us would become so addicted to ministry to others that we are perpetually drawn to it, can’t stop it, allow it to define us, make us a different, better person, and satisfy us like nothing else. When describing this family of servants, Paul said, “…they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such” (I Corinthians 16:18).

Do you know someone who is dedicated to the ministry of other saints? If so, acknowledge them today with cooperation, an expression of appreciation, and a greater degree of respect. Then, seek to follow their example. Get addicted to ministry for Christ.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."