“Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:14-17, NLT
Our addictions may be so ingrained in us that we define our identity by them. We may even begin to feel that we are predisposed to behave as we do. We may grow discouraged as we are condemned for behaviors that seem beyond our control. How can we escape this self-perception that defines us in terms of the addictions that dominate our lives?
One passage in Scripture seems to identify people by their behavior: “Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). This doesn’t seem fair. We feel like we will never be able to escape our addictive nature. But the
passage continues: “Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (6:11). “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
God doesn’t just erase our sinful behaviors. When we identify ourselves
with Christ, he gives us a new identity. We will always remember what we were and realize that our sinful nature and our body may always be predisposed to a particular addiction. We may even still slip up at times, but we need no longer define ourselves by our addictions. In Christ we are all the forgiven, cleansed, and holy children of God.