Are You Living Drug-Free?
If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed, John 8:36, NIV.
Do you boast that you're drug-free? Careful! Nine out of 10 North Americans take a mind-altering drug daily. And you may be one of them.
The culprit? Everyday, ordinary, over-the-counter caffeine. It's found in coffe, tea, chocolate, sodas, and extra-strength pain relievers, just to name a few of the common things we enjoy.
But caffeine isn't addictive, is it? Look in your dictionary, and you'll find that an addictive substance is one that produces measurable physical and mental effects when withdrawn. In this sense, even small doses of caffeine taken regularly produce some degree of addiction.
Check this out for yourself by dropping all caffeine intake for a few days. The most common withdrawal symptom is headache. Fatigue, poor appetite, nausea, and vomiting sometimes occur. And symptoms may last up to five days.
Psychological withdrawal may be even harder. People become accustomed to reaching for their pick-me-up. The urge can be compared to the desire for a cigarette, and it may be just as difficult to resist. Too many people head to the refrigerator for a soda spided with caffeine.
What's wrong with caffeine? It produces temporary increases in energy by stimulating the nervous system and raising blood sugar. While this extra energy seems desirable, it is eventually followed by a drop in energy, signaling the need for another dose of caffeine. Are you sure you want to be drawn into this endless energy yo-yo?
Continued caffeine use may produce nervousness, tremors, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. In time such symptoms can lead to chronic fatigue and persistent insomnia. Caffeine also aggravates ulcers and other stomach problems.
Sin is something like caffeine. It often looks so harmless—and tastes so good! And immediately after indulging you feel a high—the pleasurable sense of immediate gratification—before the low when the guilt sets in. Because sin seldom destroys its victim immediately, people get sucked in, and it can easily become a habit. But the good news is that Jesus can free us from sin, just as He can give us the willpower to say no to caffeine. And "if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
With the Lord's help, throw out the caffeine and join the truly unhooked generation!
Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.
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