More or Less

Editorial Perspective

The expression “more or less” is sometimes used when a person is either unsure or intentionally trying to hide, and/or justify inappropriate behavior or an addiction (such as the number of pills they’ve taken that day). It is important to remember that for an addict – “one is too many and too many is never enough”

Often such imprecision is simply a means of covering up the extent of and seriousness of a person’s addiction. It is also true that “more or less” may be the appropriate response to a questioner if a person is someone who is overly focused on details to the point of obsession. God’s voice, along with the feedback of friends and family can help the addict know when they are denying the extent of their addictive behaviors.

While it is definitely true that the addict needs “a power greater” than themselves to restore sanity, with God that “power” may be less than originally thought.

In recovery the exact amount of power needed to overcome is again and again misunderstood. God is able with seemingly little power to accomplish much. For the people of Israel who crossed the Jordan River to occupy the “promised land,” God said He would send hornets to drive out the Hivites, Caananites and Hittites (see Exodus 23:28). Hornets are definitely less powerful when compared to more powerful fighting man, but with God’s usage, they accomplished much more than would generally be expected. In Joshua 24:11 and 12, we notice that not only did He run these people out of their towns, He also did the same to the Amorites, Perizzites, Girgashites and Jebusites.

God through prayer, even seemingly small, weak prayer, when in the hand of faith is able to lead to just the right people to provide the power necessary to find freedom from obsessive thinking and compulsive behaviors.

Thanks be to God who knows exactly what is needed to help the addict and all others who find their lives out of harmony with His.

Ray Nelson, MDiv, MSPH