(Webster's Dictionary) def....rapacious: 1. taking by force, plundering; 2. greedy or grasping
In AA literature these words are used to describe this disease of addiction. While there is some debate that we call it a disease, there is evidence that it is hereditary as well as a bad habit, and that it is like holding a loaded pistol to your head with the trigger cocked, just waiting for you to snap. Even with the salvation and cleansing that is provided in a relationship with Jesus, unless you provide daily maintenance for it, it can return to be "rapacious" like a cancer relapse. It spreads like a plunderer, possibly worse than before, because it is greedy and does not want to let go.
Luke 11:24...."When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says I will return to the house I left. When it arrives it finds the house swept clean and in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first."
These are the words of our Lord, a warning. Better clean your house every chance you get or dust, dirt and grime return. Being a Christian, being a recovering person takes daily maintenance because the touchy feely feelings of the highs we experience with God are usually balanced out with the reality that life has many ups and downs, and we better be ready, or we quickly relapse into old or destructive behavior.
The "Rapacious Creditor" takes no prisoners, tears families apart, destroys lives and burns everything and everybody in its wake, and we better not ever get on a "pink cloud" where we think we are above all of this. It is sudden, it is mind boggling and it happens to the very best of us.
That's the bad news, here is the good. If, and that is a very large word, IF, we pray, study, stay in accountability relationships, and go to meetings/church, we begin to develop really good habits and an incredible relationship with our creator and fellow man. This gives us the best chance to ward off that creditor who wants to collect our past due debts and throw us back into dysfunction.
Truly the power of grace, forgiveness of our sins and the creation of a new us is a gIFt.That's right, there is that IF in the middle of it, it is a gift that we must receive and use wisely. IF we treat it at such, that it has nothing to do with our own accomplishments, that it can go away in a heartbeat IF we don't stay humble, then our reliance on the power of God's Holy Spirit will pull us through every attempt by that Rapacious Creditor to collect.
And then you will see the truth, and the truth will set you free!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.