Love and Focus


Felt like going through some thoughts of 1Corinthians 13:4-7. Because I am using the Message Bible things will look a little different than other translations might. I will probably skip a few parts of some verses, right now, to just stick to how these verses apply to the journey to addiction to gambling recovery. “Love never gives up.” I try to live by these words: never give up and never surrender. I am not sure that this verse is talking about the same thing as I am when I think about not giving up all the time, but I am not going to give up my decision to stop going to the casino. I want to spend my time learning how to care more for others than for self. When I gamble my wish is to win more money than others win. I start by thinking how desperately I need it, but get jealous when the people next to me win when I am losing. “Love does not envy.” “Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.” These verses cover that action and the thoughts that proceed them. My life should not always be about “me first.”

I want to be the person that “doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,” but “takes pleasure in the flowering of truth.” I think I already know how to put up with anything, but I do not think that is what Paul was talking about when he wrote 1 Corinthians 13: 7 and said that love “is not easily angered.” I have been a doormat. That is not the same thing. Maybe that is where some of the emotions come from that make me seek out the excitement of going to the casino. But that is not me “looking for the best” in God. He is a good God and I believe His Word when it says so. I am going to “trust God always!” I want to “never look back.” I will “keep going to the end.”

Maybe looking at these scriptures in this way is selfish. But that was not my intent. I am just trying to find my way to use the Word of God to help me become free from addiction to anything, but Jesus. That is the way I handled things when I did not drink like an alcoholic or take prescriptions like an addict or gamble in a casino. I was addicted to Jesus. I viewed everything through the eyes of a daughter of God. It was when I got to a point in my young adult life where I did not know how to cope with peer pressure and loneliness that I let my immaturity lead me to drink like a fish. I hid it well. I was not trying to live a dishonest or hypocritical life. I just did not know how to handle life. In many ways I am still learning how to be a mature adult.

Things are getting a little more intense than I thought they would. When that happens I start to shut down to avoid the anxiety attack. I know that I need to dig deep to get better. I am scared. Who would not be? No matter the reason or the means. Losing my money or becoming dependent on others. Going to meetings or studying the Bible. I am trying to get back to the rhythm I had going when I started writing “I’m Here.” Maybe I am not supposed to rewrite it or even repeat its popularity. The point is to be honest that I am a mess and only God can fix this mess. If I never publish a word, the important thing has to be recovery and a closer relationship with God.

I may be wrong to put a focus on my not going to the casino on 1 Corinthians 8 and the mandate to not do something that will cause others to stumble. But it is important to me to not hurt others. If the only way I can help others is to not do something that will lead them on a path away from God, then I will work on just that. I know that I should find other ways to serve others. I will be able to do them better if I am not stressing about my lack of finances or feeling sick from my loss of sleep.

I will not be basing everything on whether my actions will cause others to become addicted. The disease of addiction may be caused by being the adult-child of an alcoholic or the desire to just feel good in your own skin. Jesus can fill in all these areas. That is where my focus is going to be. Jesus. I may not be able to write every post about addiction or recovery, but I do know that I can write from my life experience and what I am studying about in the Word of God.


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