I know there have been a lot of Christian-based articles about Charlie Sheen lately, and a lot of good things have been said. Normally I don’t care that much about celebrities, but I sat down to watch his interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan last week. I was surprised by how sober and clear-minded he came across, but one really disturbing issue really kept coming back around in his interview. He quit drugs by “curing himself with his mind.” I’m not saying he’s completely turned it around now, but he has stopped taking drugs, which is a positive step. Here’s the problem, though; it really doesn’t seem like he quit for the right reasons, and that’s what bugged me. In fact, he referred to his drug and alcohol binges as “epic nights” and he seemed to be proud of the company his activities put him in (along with the likes of Keith Richards and Ozzy Osbourne). So why did he quit drugs? The impression I got is that he quit for reasons that pertain to publicity and finances. He quit because people wanted him to. He quit because he felt pressured to by the television and movie industry. His fond reminiscing about those days makes it clear that he thought his life was more fun when he could do whatever he felt like.
I’m sure you’re ahead of me by this point. I hope Charlie Sheen finds God and turns his life around, but I’m thankful we have his story as an example. There are too many times when we as Christians see sin as appealing. It’s different for each of us. Whether it’s drugs, drinking, fornication, gossip, or any other number of sins we could commit, we have a tendency to look on those as things we “can’t” do because we’re Christians now. We must remember that “we have been brought out of darkness and into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). I understand temptation exists, but sin should be something we don’t want to do, not something we aren’t allowed to do by our religion. Non-Christians see this attitude in us, and it causes them to look critically at our christianity. I’ve heard unchurched people ask on multiple occasions about what they would have to give up to become Christians. “Would I have to give up partying/drinking/smoking/sex?” My brother has been asked this many times by his hockey teammates, and I’m very proud to say that he paints the picture perfectly by telling them that it’s not about what you give up, it’s about what you gain. God wants His people to be happy. He doesn’t put rules on us to restrict us and make us sit on the sidelines while everyone else has more fun. Who could know how to make us happy better than the One who created us? Even if we did have to pass on happiness in this life to obey God, it would be worth it because heaven and hell exist.
If we look back on our sins with fondness, it’s time to take a look at our relationship with Christ. Just like Sheen, we need to realize that there is nothing “epic” about time spent disobeying Christ. “The outcome of those things is death” (Romans 6:21). Sin should disgust us. It is up to us as Christians to develop the same hatred for sin that David had in Psalm 51. To any non-Christians who read this, let me assure you that it’s worth it to give up anything you hang on to in order to keep you from obeying Christ. When you’re following Jesus, you know what true “winning” is all about.
“Do not love the word nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” – 1 John 2:15.
“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from himself, because there is no such thing” – C.S. Lewis.