The next prison that I will examine is VICES AND ADDICTIONS. This prison is one of the most cruel of all of the prisons. The suffering in this prison is inflicted on all levels; physical, emotional, relational, intellectual and offers no hope of a better life. The dependency is chemical, social, habitual, emotional and intellectual. The scope of the suffering goes beyond the suffering and expense to the individual, to include friends, family, community, government and environment. The property damage exceeds the cost of war by several times, every year, yet we pass laws to protect these vices because of the taxes from them. Still these taxes are swallowed up several times in the cost to the governments for such things as welfare, public medical cost, police and fire protection, etc. The number of deaths caused by these vices and addictions in the last 50 years exceed the combined cost of all the wars of all time. That does not take into consideration the personal injury or the wrecked lives of the innocent who have nothing to do with them.
The interesting thing about this prison is that most of those who go there, do so by their own choice. There are some exceptions such as those who have been thrust there by circumstances beyond their control such as addiction from medications to save the life. There is an old saying, man takes drink, drink takes drink, drink takes man. The door into this prison is inviting. It offers thrill, fun, pleasure, success, happiness, profit, etc. Then once entered the door slams shut behind and a return to the former life is lost. Many have testified that they hate what they do now and cannot escape its grip. I know that it is not as simplistic as I make it sound but the point is not being made that it can be avoided if we make right choices.
The scope of vices and addictions is wide. It includes the obvious of tobacco,alcohol and drugs but extends to pleasures, powers and passions. The allurement of all of these vices and addictions are temporary while the consequence remains for a long time. The grip of these vices is strong and the dependence is hard to break but it really is not complicated. It is as simple as placing that dependency on Jesus instead of the vice. Even though it is simple, it is not easy. To make this adjustment requires a complete rejection of the vice and all it offers and choose the life of obedience to the Lord of life. He has made provision for your stumbling and weakness and accepts you just as you are and will lead you out of this prison.
God’s plan is to free us from this prison ( Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.). If you want to escape you can but you have to do it His way. Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Ga 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. There is hope but it is only in Jesus Christ.