Blessed are the peacemakers… Matthew 5:9

Making peace, what exactly does that mean? How do we make peace in the middle of a conflict? First, we can trace the need for peace all the way back to the garden of Eden.  Because of their sin in the garden, Adam, Eve, and all of mankind found themselves on opposing sides with God.  God said, do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  But did they listen?  No!  This thing called sin crept in and created a separation between man and God.  Right there, in the very beginning of our bible, we entered a conflict.  We developed a conflict in our relationship with the Lord.  The blessing of peace eludes us, for the price of our sin is death.

It was a conflict that we could not fix.  No matter how hard any of us might try, we can never live up to God’s expectations.  Living by his law is impossible.  In all of time there was but one man to succeed, and his name was Jesus.  He was God in human flesh. He succeeded in doing what we could not, living a perfect and sinless life.  Because of this, Jesus became our peacemaker!  He made a way creating peace between God and man, by paying the price for our sin.  So, we can be at peace with God by accepting Jesus as our savior.

So, what is or who is a peacemaker? One who works to create peace by resolving conflict.  Again, our scripture says, blessed are the peacemakers.  Those who work toward resolving conflict to create peace will be blessed.

Some examples of negotiators who promote peace are hostage negotiators, divorce negotiators, contract negotiators, peace or conflict resolution specialists. These are employed to resolve conflicts and to create peace by causing two opposing parties to come together in agreement.  Blessed are the peacemakers.

Recently, during a time of fasting and prayer the Lord spoke to me that I needed to pray for those who are addicted to drama.

Addicted to drama? I had never heard it described in those specific terms before.  Addicted to drama.  Yes, I know that it seems some are far too comfortable with drama in their life, and some may even go so far as to embrace it. In fact, I must admit there was a season in my own life that drama seemed inescapable. However, I had never associated the word addicted with the word drama.

I began to meditate upon this.  What exactly did God mean by this? What in the world is an addiction to drama? I know there are many different types of addiction that can take ahold of us in a moment of vulnerability, but drama? Perhaps even more importantly, how should we pray for those that are addicted to it?

According to google, an addiction is “a physiological or psychological dependence… or the condition of being habitually occupied with or involved in something.”

Not content to settle for Google’s rending of the term, I searched further.  According to healthline, “an addiction is a chronic dysfunction of the brain system that involves reward, motivation, and memory.  It’s about the way your body craves a substance or behavior, especially if it causes a compulsive or obsessive pursuit of “reward” and lack of concern over consequences.”

“A chronic dysfunction of the brain …”

I think most of us are familiar with how drugs, alcohol, or perhaps even gambling can become addictive.  The substance or behavior seems enjoyable in the beginning, triggering a sensation of pleasure, with that sensation being our reward.  However, in the case of addiction, greater and greater quantities are required to obtain the same results.

Our brain can become dependent upon the sensation we get from partaking of the behavior or substance.   What might start out as social drinking or gambling can become a nasty habit that destroys the life of the victim and touches all associated with them.  Abuse is the enemy’s attempt to sidetrack the normal function of our brain and the reward system that God created inside us.  He does so by distorting the motivation and reward system and using it to trap us.  He wants to trap us into a system of dysfunctional living. It is a booby trap just waiting to catch us in its snare.

Why do the victims indulge in the behavior in the first place?  The motivation is the perceived reward.  In the case of drugs or alcohol, it is often an innocent attempt to experience the sensation of joy, pleasure, or social acceptance. It may also be an attempt to self-medicate to cover up symptoms of pain or feelings of inadequacy.

Instead of pursuing peace by fixing the problem or finding a solution, the “fix” covers it up.  That reminds me of the scripture in Luke 8:17, “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be made known and brought to light.”  In this case, the ‘cure” eventually becomes far worse than the problem itself, by the time they realize it they are caught in the snare and trapped. It becomes a vicious cycle of needing more and more to obtain the same reward. The aftermath often expands the circle of victims to family, friends, and any others connected to them.

So that leads us back to the initial question, how do we define drama addiction?  What could be the perceived reward? Creating, embracing, or magnifying drama can potentially fulfill an unhealthy desire for attention.  For others it can be circumstantial, it is something they have experienced for such long periods of time that it becomes a part of their perceived identity, (their comfort zone as bizarre as that is).  They become blind to the fact that it is not who God created them to be.  Those trapped by circumstantial drama may find the thought of escaping the chaos almost an impossible dream.

They may embrace victimhood as their identity, at least they know what to expect. Confronting and pursuing an unknown world outside the chaos can be frightening. Pursuing peace requires courage that victims often lack. Abuse destroys healthy self-esteem. Sadly, some may have even learned to use their victimhood to manipulate and control others.   Let’s face it, abuse loves to hold its victims hostage.  But God. With God all things are possible.

Psalms 91:3-4 says it best,

For he rescues you from every trap and protects you from the fatal plague. He will shield you with his wings! They will shelter you. His faithful promises are your armor.

Abuse is a trap. It is a trap that God wants to rescue you from if you are willing, but you must trust him and walk it out, no turning back.

That reminds me of an old song we used to sing, perhaps you have heard it?

I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

Although I touched on it earlier, there is one final aspect of drama addiction that is perhaps the least obvious of all.  Those who want to create, rehearse, or magnify their abuse or the abuse of others because of the attention they receive.  Rehearsing drama, real or perceived, for the sake of drawing attention to oneself is truly sad.

As I sought the Lord about this, I heard, “Those who choose to rehearse the drama in their own lives, or in the lives of others with the motive of gaining attention …. are aiding and abetting the work of the enemy.  This is because they are drawing attention or highlighting what satan can do instead of focusing on what God can do.”

So let me close with this, as we lift-up others in need of prayer and summon the assistance of others to do the same, let each examine our own hearts.  Is the motive a sincere desire to see the person set free?  If so, submit your prayer requests, for there is power in the prayer of unity.  The more we join hands and hearts to summon God’s answers the better.  Let us make sure we do so with the right motive in mind.

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9

Pastor Kathy Smith D.M.

Pastor of Discipleship and Engagement

CenterPoint Church