Thought this observation from Russell Brand beautifully described the paradox of temptation. We know something is wrong and will do us harm and bring destruction but somehow we are powerfully drawn and our mind simultaneously sees things in a different way. It’s like that picture were you see first a beautiful women them an old lady. Your mind is torn between the two. Once you have seen both it flicks between the two.
It is 10 years since I used drugs or drank alcohol and my life has improved immeasurably. I have a job, a house, a cat, good friendships and generally a bright outlook.
The price of this is constant vigilance because the disease of addiction is not rational. Recently for the purposes of a documentary on this subject I reviewed some footage of myself smoking heroin that my friend had shot as part of a typically exhibitionist attempt of mine to get clean.
I sit wasted and slumped with an unacceptable haircut against a wall in another Hackney flat (Hackney is starting to seem like part of the problem) inhaling fizzy, black snakes of smack off a scrap of crumpled foil. When I saw the tape a month or so ago, what is surprising is that my reaction is not one of gratitude for the positive changes I’ve experienced but envy at witnessing an earlier version of myself unencumbered by the burden of abstinence. I sat in a suite at the Savoy hotel, in privilege, resenting the woeful ratbag I once was, who, for all his problems, had drugs. That is obviously irrational.
God’s people wanted to return to slavery in Egypt. Such is the deceptive nature of sin that we can envy others even as they are being destroyed but it. Like the Israelites in the desert we can look back with sin coloured spectacles.