Whatever you depend on, will control you.
I am very familiar with the relationship between dependency and control. I love my mom and dad, but they were addicted to gambling. When I was in my teens, they went to the horse races a couple of times per week. My father was in the the wholesale meat business. His top few customers were horse race track dining rooms and stable kitchens. When I worked with him in the Summers, I remember he would disappear at noon. He went to see his customers, at the track.
When I was 24, they purchased two condos in Las Vegas. They lived in one and leased out the other. They were at the casino every day. My mom played poker machines and my dad loved dice. Then when land based casinos became legal in our state, they sold their Las Vegas condos. It was much easier just to drive an hour to local casinos.
I went into the meat business with my father in the 1984, and eventually purchased his company. I was doing pretty well, but soon developed a gambling problem of my own. Like father, like son. I used bookies, who were in business of taking sports bets, before sports gambling was legal. I would bet on 6 football games and lose 4 of them. This went on for a couple of years, until I recognized I had a serious problem. Not only was I throwing money away, but I was dependent on the excitement of gambling. This dependency on gambling for fun and excitement controlled me.
Most of us don't recognize our deep dark dependencies, until something happens. Being controlled by someone or something is awful. Sometimes a misplaced dependency leads to other misplaced dependencies. We might escape from gambling, and then turn to becoming a workaholic. Or turn from an alcohol dependency to a food junkie.
What happens when you depend on alcohol? Alcohol controls you. What happens if you depend on Facebook likes? Facebook likes control you. What happens if you depend on your wife? Your wife controls you (You do want to avoid this one!).
Whatever you depend on will control you. It's not an if or maybe. It is the way we are designed.
Why are us humans so easily duped into believing that people, places and things, will bring us meaning and purpose in life? There's nothing wrong with alcohol, taking risks in life and wanting people to like us. The problem is our dependency on them. When we become dependent on people, places and things, those things start to control us. That is when the snowball starts going down the hill and it can lead to severe depression, hopelessness and even suicide.
I recently read an article on the front page of the newspaper, "Gambling addiction on the rise". Are you serious? You just figured out that if you legalize gambling, everything will be Ok and people will not become addictied to it? What a lie!
The First LIe
The lies of this world all started in the Garden of Eden, when God gave Adam one command. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:16-17).
In Genesis 3, the serpent comes on the scene and said to Eve, "You will not surely die..." (Genesis 3:4).
What did Adam and Eve do? Yes, they believed the lie, and ate from the tree, which God told them not to eat. That day, the Spirit of God left Adam and Eve and they died spiritually. Now, without the Spirit of God living in them, they were on their own, susceptible to the lies of this world. This was the beginning of how we become addicted to things.
Most people, even Christians, believe that we are born in God's image. This is not true. Why is that?
Adam had a son, named Seth, who was born in Adam's image and likeness (Genesis 5:3). Are we any different than Seth? No. We are all born into this world like Seth, in Adam's image and likeness, spiritually dead and separated from God. (Romans 5:12, 1 Corinthians 15:49).
This is why we are so susceptible to Satan's lies and becoming dependent on many things. Until we are born again of the Spirit of God, we will can be completely controlled by things such as alcohol, gambling, drugs, people's opinion of us and more. These behaviors are not what control us, it is our dependency on them, which controls us.
The Only Way Out
Even born again Christians can become dependent on things in this life. But we have a way out. We can turn to Jesus Christ for new life and be saved from God's coming wrath. We then can have our mind renewed and changed. As we become more and more dependent on Jesus, our dependency for people, places and thing will diminish, but it never goes away completely. When we feel the pull of a misplaced dependency controlling us, we can always turn to the Word of God. Our dependency and hope in Jesus begins to squash our addictions and misplaced dependencies.
What's the only answer to addiction and misplaced dependencies? It's coming to Jesus, by faith, He comes to live inside of us. He gives us eternal life. He gives us the mind of Christ. This is when the road to recovery begins.
Depend on Jesus, and He will control you.