Side Effects of a Quick Fix

prescription drugsHave you ever taken the time to actually listen to a drug advertisement on television? I’m not one to watch commercials—we DVR the shows we want to watch and fast forward through those pesky advertisements. But I turned the T.V. on the other day for background noise while I was cleaning the house and an ad came on for an oral female hormone. Stunning, middle-aged women flashed on the screen—the picture of perfect health—and the voice over said, “Why wait?”

To be sensitive to any male readers, I won’t go into detail about the advertised purpose of this drug—suffice it to say it’s more for comfort than necessity. But the advertiser would have every woman believe that in order to live a full and satisfying life, she needs to add this particular hormone to her arsenal.

As the ad ended, a voice-over (in a faster, quieter tone) blurted out the fine print, “This drug can cause strokes, blood clots and uterine cancer.” I’ve been known to go on a rant regarding the evils of many prescription medications—and the havoc they can cause the human body. I’ve spouted my conspiracy theory about drugs being an economical driving force in this country to more people than would like to hear it. So I won’t bore you with any of that in this post.

But I would like to make a little analogy here. The lure of prescription drugs and the lure of Satan. Okay, some of you may be rolling your eyes at this point, but hang in there a little longer while I make my case. And let me state the obvious first: There is a time and purpose for prescription drugs. I’m not saying that all drugs should be eliminated. I just think we, as a country, are much more willing to reach for the “quick fix” than to be pro-active about our health or do the work to get back to health. Case in point: diet pills that promise weight loss without any actual work on the consumer’s part to either change their diet or exercise.

That said…just like Satan lures us to sin, the drug industry (and advertisers in general) plays on our need to be something—healthier, happier, more energetic, more attractive—the list goes on. If we take that drug our lives will be better for it. And yet, just as there are often side-effects to taking prescription medications, there are side-effects of sin. But our culture doesn’t want to acknowledge this. It’s much more comfortable to believe that whatever we do, as long as it doesn’t hurt others, it’s okay with God. Satan would have you believe this, because when we fall into this trap, he wins.

A few years ago, I repeatedly heard an advertisement for restless leg syndrome. The voice-over cautioned those taking the drugs to immediately contact their healthcare provider if they found an increased desire to gamble. Seriously? Hmmm. Let me think about it. Would I rather be addicted to gambling or deal with restless legs? It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But not any crazier than some of the choices those in our culture make on a regular basis. If I buy that car, that house, commit adultery with that person…I’ll be happier, healthier, more attractive, whatever the lure may be.

And it started thousands of years ago, in the Garden of Eden. Eve, living in a perfect world, couldn’t resist the lure of something more—the one and only thing God forbade. We don’t live in a perfect world—that went by the wayside when Adam failed to control his wife. But we are promised satisfaction in this life if we trust in the person of Jesus Christ. That empty place in our hearts was put there by God. Not so we’d seek temporal things to fill it, but so we’d seek Him. Because temporal things will only satisfy for a moment. But God is as eternal as His promises.

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