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[Reflection delivered at the corner of Albany and Hulett Streets in Schenectady on Saturday, July 30th during March Schenectady for Jesus 2022.]

Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, house of Israel.

At this stop we pause to address the plague of addiction and violence.

These two things, these two sins, are bound together. God asks us to be in control of our lives and our actions, to hand ourselves over completely to Him and to follow His gospel path. 

However, when we surrender ourselves to addiction, we surrender our self-control. We allow drugs and alcohol, addiction to food, sexual behaviors and pornography, and gambling to rule and run our lives. Time for family – none. Time for work – none. Savings – none. Church – forget it. The less and less control we have the less time we have for God’s way, and in His place we revel in destruction.

When we surrender ourselves to addiction, you know what comes behind it – yes violence. Place oneself under Satan’s guidance, and under the influence of that addiction, and one will engage in behaviors they wouldn’t if they were sober and right minded. 

Violent behaviors and addiction go hand-in-hand because anyone in your way is in the way. That includes God. I need to get my fix and my high – get out of my way or I’ll get you out of my way. Nothing can stop me. Lack of money – rob it. Someone trying to help me, attack them. That girl won’t give in – rape her. God trying to turn me back, to turn me around – deny Him and hate Him. Reject His Church.

Addiction fuels that pent up rage in us. Gasoline on the fire. In the end the addicted and the violent will stand there alone, shattered bodies and spirits in the wake. Satan laughing. His promises were meaningless.

Think that addiction isn’t being expressed outwardly in some form of violence? These are the other, more subtle forms of violence addiction fuels, things like: Blackmail, Physical threats, Gaslighting, Attacking another’s self-worth, Intimidation, Stalking, Name-calling, Withholding resources and necessities, Excluding a person from meaningful events or activities, Blaming the victim.

Is this in you? It is time to turn now. Immediately, right now. Go to one of the pastors here. Seek help. Call 988. Get help.

God asks for our surrender, the surrender of the whole self. No holding back and no backsliding. Now is the time to throw Satan and his booze, drugs, food, pornography, gambling, and any other addiction away and hand over our lives 100%.

God take me and heal me, mold me as You see fit. Amen.

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