North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    It’s troubling that so many people live in a restless and disparaging condition. Countless people are dissatisfied with life in general and the slightest petty annoyances sets them off. Even more troubling is the inability for the average person to sit still for any length of time. Being still and silent are strange and unfamiliar states that today’s culture doesn’t seem to appreciate. Our hyped-up society goes from one swinging vine to the next.    The disturbing trend is that people are getting high on drugs and forming addictions to painkillers and recreational drugs. I’ve known several people, young and old, rich and poor who have died as a result of an accumulation of these in their body. I’m in no way passing judgement upon them, but have seen too many lives wasted on quick fixes and bad trips that are taken to escape reality. And I repeat, it’s not just the poor or low income individuals that are plagued by this problem.

    A police officer in a big city found the following hand-written note by the dead body of a young lady who died of a drug overdose: “Illicit drugs are my shepherds I shall always want. They maketh me to lie down in gutters, they leadeth me beside the troubled waters. They destroyeth my soul. They leadeth me in the paths of wickedness. Yea, I shall walk through the valley of poverty in spirit and will fear all evil. For thou art with me—my drugs. The needles and capsules try to comfort me. Thou robbest my head of reason. My cup runneth over with sorrow. Surely my drug addiction shall stalk me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the house of the dead forever. Truly this is my psalm. I want to quit, but jail didn’t cure me, the hospital didn’t help me for long. How did this happen? How did I get off track with life? Why am I here? Is there an answer to life’s trouble?”

    If there’s one positive thing I can say for this poor girl, it’s the fact she’s honest. When is the last time you were honest with yourself? When is the last time you analyzed yourself? When is the last time you took a good honest look in the mirror? One of the most painful things in the world is to accept the truth about yourself.

    There’s people who have made it materially, but they’re empty on the inside. The problem with people who seek drugs as their answer to life’s dullness is that this answer will never solve the problem. Grant it, the world is in a chaotic state. People want to get hold of something to fill their emptiness, but also speak to the everyday pressures of their business life, family relationships, and how to deal with their children.

    Don’t let your feelings of dissatisfaction or distraction from what’s important in life take hold of you and lead you by the hand to some dead end street or dreaded habit. You have a free will, and God has made you. If you’re completely honest with yourself, you can begin to deal with those things that are making you feel dissatisfied. Illicit drugs can never help you, but honesty sure can.

    Decide not to live a life dependent on a pill or a drink. Accept and believe in a value system that says you’re worth more than that. Perhaps the values set forth in God’s Word have not been taught to you or maybe they’ve been forgotten because of the culture’s distractions. Your hope for better days will not disappoint you and help does exist for those who want it! If parents want to help their kids steer free from the traps of drugs and society’s cesspool of smut, there needs to be a continuity within the family. A consistent message of hope and love that comes from a relationship with Christ. There’s a spiritual answer for all things.

    Jesus said, “My purpose is to give them an abundant and satisfying life” (John 10:10). If people would accept Jesus as their ruler and guide of their life, they would find happiness and fulfillment in this life. You mustn’t wait until you’ve cleaned up your life before coming to him—he’ll take care of you. Jesus’ presence in a person’s life will cast out the failure elements in their personalities. Jesus has the power to cast out the demons in our life just as he did for others years ago (Luke 8:2).

    One of Jesus’ promises: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20), means that the abundant life is never ending. Stresses and disappointments will come. And never underestimate the human error element in us. We have a mistake tendency, but Christ never makes mistakes. You reduce your mistake tendency when you stay close to him.

    Consider the fact we’re led by our thought process. That’s another powerful reason not to distort our thinking with some drug fix. We need to think clearly. Our emotions are also at risk when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. An emotion can run wild and take us along with them. If and when they do, that’s when we start reaching out to things like drugs. Don’t let illicit drugs control you anymore. Ask for help. Find someone who will listen to your story and let them help you. But the first thing is to ask God to help you overcome your temptation. There is no chemical solution to a spiritual problem.

    Ask God to forgive you for your shortcomings, and He will (1 John 1:9). And then decide to live in that forgiveness, rather than continuing to live in your faults. Your life is far more important than you might realize. You are somebody, created in the image of God to be somebody. You’ll never be happy until you start being what you were born to be. You would’ve never been born if there wasn’t some good anymore in your being here. Go on the adventure of your life with God and let Him remake you, energize you, and make your life count!

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a teacher, U.S. Army Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York Community. His latest book, “Loving Others with Purpose” will be published on February 14th – Valentine’s Day. His other nine books can be purchased on and you can contact him at:

Posted by on Feb 12 2017. Filed under Church News, Churches, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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