Came across this quote today from a dude I think of as my friend. C.S. Lewis, or Jack, to those of you who know him better than I do, wrote this:

It is very advisable that we should all advance to that perfection of love in which we shall fear no longer; but it is very undesirable, until we have reached that stage, that we should allow any inferior agent to cast out our fear.

Seems to me Jack was talking about medication. I mean by medication anything which allows us to escape from the reality of our circumstances. The fact is we medicate our pain – or I do anyway. Rather than choosing to dwell in the midst of our stuff, we drink it away, sniff it away, “entertainment” it away, or dare I say, even “church” it away. Medication can be anything – anything that makes us forget.

Self-medicating is an inferior agent we use to cast out our fear. And we are afraid. We’re afraid of the future, of the despair of the present, of the memories of the past. Sad that we do that, but sadder still that we might live our whole lives without really acknowledging our missed dreams, dashed hopes, incredible losses, and broken lives.

Medication feels good, but it’s very bad. It leads to addiction, despair, and isolation. But it has this going for it – self-medication allows the freedom to act like all is well. But in the end, medicating halts our intimacy with Jesus. To move forward in our relationships with God, we must be willing to face the difficult questions of providence, sovereignty, evil, suffering, and everything else we find in a broken world. We have to engage God, from a perspective of faith, and be willing to have difficult conversations. Though that’s not the only way we get to know Him better, it is a pretty good start.

The conflict with the way things are and the way things “ought to be” is one that must be examined and pressed into. And you can’t plow while you’re medicated.

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  • Christopher Lake says:

    This post really hits home. Thanks for your honesty, Michael. I medicate too– just not in the most obviously sinful ways. Yet it is still sin, and sin always harms and weakens. It is good for me to read your words and be convicted by them. No one who is in Christ truly needs the “medication” of which you write. Yet, we can convince ourselves that somehow, we just can’t do without it– which means needing it. What a lie! We have what we need in God, and in His people, the church. I must stop numbing myself with diversions (even good diversions) and allow myself to be more fully broken before God and His answers to all of the things that I don’t understand. For me, this probably means accepting more deeply that only He knows all of the answers to my questions and fears. That is ok. He holds the future, and in His hands, and on His terms, the future is good. Thanks again for the post!

  • Rob Tims says:

    And for this reason, I did not take Aleve after a 2-hour tennis match last night ….

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