Dream word – EXAMINE
“And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.” KJV.
Avoiding substance abuse
I like very much the expression of dissipation found in our text for tonight as referring to someone who “wastes his substance”. The idea around the Greek word translated as dissipation is that of substance abuse in terms of an abandoned and unthinking recklessness which leads to personal destruction. Yup! Dissipation is a terminal disease.
Maybe it is because I am getting older, but frankly I no longer have the energy I used to have, and so already I find myself gazing somewhat enviously on younger folk, who seem to have so much energy, that they just don’t know what to do with it! Unfortunately, the possessors of such a seeming abundance of time, energy and good looks, often unknowingly fritter their substance away. It might be frustrating to see the accidental dissipation of substance which is common to youth and growth but it tell you, it is absolutely heartbreaking to see a young person purposely throw away their substance, bulimically vomiting up their life on the pavements of drugs and idleness. Be sure that I am not talking of wasting money here. No, money can be replaced. I am talking about wasting substance. Time, talents, gifting, and all the unpacked possibility of life. This kind of dissipation is a tragedy of untold proportion. This kind of substance abuse is not irredeemable but it is irreversible. Think about that.
There is another kind of dissipation though which the more seeming wise and respectable unfortunately get themselves hooked into. It is dissipation of a better kind but dissipation nevertheless.
You see, whenever we spend ourselves on that which does not last, we dissipate our very substance. There are two questions we can ask ourselves concerning the spending of our substance, to better then discern either the true worth of its expenditure or its wasteful abuse. “What is there of any value shall I leave behind me when all my substance is spent? What things of value do I look forward to, have I invested in even, in my eternal life to come?” We are moving speedily towards the end of this year and I tell you, if you want to have done with substance abuse then these are two of the best substantial and ethical questions you could ever bring to your life. Try them if you dare.
Listen: “With her enticing speech she caused him to yield,With her flattering lips she seduced him. Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, Or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, Till an arrow struck his liver. As a bird hastens to the snare,He did not know it would cost his life. Now therefore, listen to me, my children; Pay attention to the words of my mouth: Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, Do not stray into her paths; For she has cast down many wounded,And all who were slain by her were strong men. Her house is the way to hell, Descending to the chambers of death.” - (Proverbs 7:21-27 NKJV.)
Pray: Lord, do not let me dissipate my substance, even on a perfumed bed of myrrh and aloes, and sugar coated cinnamon. Deliver me from taking my fill of all false loves which bring with them nothing but the coming of that morning emptiness. Deliver me from substance abuse I pray, in Jesus name, amen!
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