with Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
(M) You know in working with people with addictions of different kinds, the thing I find in there is that they believe the addiction has taken them. I remember telling you this twelve years ago.
(M) And you said, you’ll get killed over that one. I said every addiction is a matter of responsibility and choice. I think what little I know about AA is they bring you to responsibility. But what happens in addiction is that you come to believe you have no control over the matter. You don’t have control, but you do have choice. And you think when you don’t have control then you don’t have any power of choice, so you don’t make the choice, so you become inert and the addiction takes greater and greater possession of you. And the thing I have to help people with is, you must regain the power of choice, because you have chosen to enter the addiction.
(J) The addiction word, that is so far out-reaching, it’s not just one avenue or one expression of addiction, it is addiction as a whole, regardless.
(M) Regardless of what it is. I’m not speaking of even addictions of the flesh like smoking or drinking or lust or whatever, but all addictions that we have, all compulsions that we have, all the sense of victimizations that we have. We can be addicted to being victimized.
(J) Can we be addicted to being a tyrant as well?
(M) Absolutely John, you’re right on it. I got you up early for this, but you’re on it. That’s right. The Pharisee’s were offended by Jesus freedom from them, from their will. And Jesus said, they tie up heavy burdens and make others get under this control, but they don’t do it themselves.
(J) Were they drunk on their own tyranny, their own ability to tyrannize and tie up those burdens on others?
(M) Sure, I think you’re right. I hadn’t thought of that, but I think you’re right. And Jesus said even this, that Joan reminded me of this morning, “I lay down my life, no one takes it from Me”. You see He wouldn’t even die when they wanted to kill Him. He was going to die on His own volition to lay it down for the Father. That’s how far this goes John.
(J) I’m seeing something real quick. Can we go on a little detour here?
(J) If you’re drunk on your own tyranny, then don’t you believe that you don’t have control over not being in control? And you’re now a victim of being in control and being a tyrant? There’s a sick-o catch 22. You are the tyrant, and you’re tyrannizing others, but because you feel like you don’t have control, and you’re addicted to your control. You feel like…
(M) You believe you’re the victim rather than the tyrant, is that what your saying?
(J) Have you not seen that in every tyrant? They don’t believe that they’re a tyrant and they somehow are the victim, by being the tyrant. Now there’s a squirrelly thought.
(M) But it’s too true, it’s too real; it’s the tragic reality of humanity. Is it not true of Cain, John? There’s your example, he believed he was a victim of Able and of God. I can’t prove it that he was the victim of Able, but he definitely was the victim of God, “I can’t bear the punishment, it’s too great for me.” It’s exactly what you’re saying. Here is the murder and tyranny, because tyranny is murder John, because when you take over a person’s will you kill them; and eventually they will die. So I do believe that many people die from tyranny.
(J) Being a tyrant, or being tyrannized?
(M) Well I’m viewing it from being tyrannized. If your will is killed and you cannot pay the price of the tyrant’s rage to have it, your body, soul and spirit begin to die, and eventually you will die of the disease of not having your will; in both directions, you can say tyrant or abused, in either direction. John, see, the temptation is the choice between authority or responsibility. And in responsibility you are free, you’re at the Tree of Life; but to take over and to take authority where you’ve not been given it, that is to die yourself, it’s exactly in The Trees, what you’re saying. You’re seeing the side of the tyrant perfectly here, and I’m seeing the side of the abused. But both are not exercising the responsibility. The one responsibility is to choose. We think responsibility means performance, work, effort, achievement or knowledge; no, the responsibility is to choose. Then all the performance happens. The achievement happens, according to your choice. I wish I could get this expression in a picture. It’s real serious.
(J) But you’re dealing with both the tyrant and the tyrannized right now currently. Are they both not just two sides of the same coin?
(M) Yes, it’s the refusal of the one responsibility, which is to make a deliberate choice. What direction you choose, chooses the ‘one’ who is on that path. It’s the basic principle of mankind.
(J) And now you’re back to Mary with her choice; it’s the basic need of every human being to choose.
(M) Exactly, the basic right, and the basic responsibility.
(J) And it is the gift that God gives every single human.
(M) I remember discipling someone who claimed to really love me, but she wanted to take away all my freedoms. And I remember saying to her one time, wait a minute, wait a minute, you’ve just made a decision for me without my consent. There are two people here, and I will let you know if I want to do, or go, or whatever it was. In the end I had to say, because she constantly attacks my freedom, it is not love, it’s hatred. If a person hates my right to choose, they hate me.
(J) And beyond that, they’re trying to murder your person by imposing their choices.
(M) That’s so important, can you say it again.
(J) They’re murdering you by trying to impose their choices on you.
(M) To over-ride my choices, and to train me. The tyrant will train you not to dare make a choice against them.
(J) But it’s murder, right?
(M) It is murder, because you will suffer. And you have to be willing to suffer, as Jesus was; His choice was only and ever the Father’s will. But He had to endure men saying ‘He has a demon’, He had to endure the attempts to murder Him, and He escaped the murder every time. That to me is a deep thing right there, I’ve got to get into it with the Lord, He would not be murdered by the tyrant, He would not. And there are several instances where they wanted to stone Him, they took Him to the brow of a hill and wanted to push Him off, He would not be murdered by the tyrant, and that is terribly significant. I think that many of us are willing to be murdered by the tyrant before our time, or to live dead just to keep peace. Peace at any price is not peace. Peace and dignity lie in possessing your own choice. I marvel at the dignity of Christ. I’m blown away really, by His dignity and His ability to be silent. He didn’t have to answer when He was on trial; He didn’t have to explain, prove, defend, He did not need to because His person was so intact, His volition, His choice had been worked out in Gethsemane. Gethsemane is a crisis of choice. He had to make the choice because He took on our human dilemma. He had to make choices just as we do. And His volition was so intact that He had no need to defend Himself. I am compelled still, to explain and defend my choices, and I want to be beyond that. That is weakness in me. That’s a vulnerability in me that is not a right vulnerability. But Jesus was so intact. And there are characters in fiction, in excellent fiction, there are many stories where the person’s whole dignity and wisdom and value lay in the fact that they maintained their choice against the swirl and madness of the world. And that’s what our Jesus did. His dignity lay in the sanctity of His own choice. (J) And He was completely harangued.
(M) And it didn’t appear to penetrate Him because He wasn’t going to listen or yield His volition to anyone. I’ve been praying John 10, that “My sheep hear My voice, a stranger’s voice they will not hear, and a stranger they will not follow”. And I’ve had two very intense occasions where someone told me something and I literally couldn’t take it in, because it was the voice of a stranger. So I chose you see, even that prayer, that desire that was awakened, was a choice before God: this is what I want to be; and He’s making it to be. See, I didn’t have to try to be that; I merely had to choose and tell God about it. I want to be a sheep that does not even hear the stranger’s voice, like our sheep were. And He is performing it in spite of me, and in my behalf in some mysterious way, because it was my decision of who I want to be. Oh it’s so exciting I can hardly stand it. If everybody could take hold, believe, that your choice makes a difference. People in addiction have to exercise it and exercise it. I remember working with someone who had a very bad addiction. And I said throw it to the Lord, give it to the Lord, over and over, if it takes five thousand times, give it to the Lord and give it up. You see, sometimes people in addictions don’t want to give it up. Right?
(M) And that giving it up to the Lord is a choice against what you want. But you give it and give it, and it will go ‘poof’ eventually, and be completely gone from you forever. Addiction is about choice, or the absence of choice. And when you’re so overcome, and you are overcome, you are run over by whatever that thing is. Whatever it is. You are taken over. But you can choose and regain the power and effect of your choice, but you have to fight, you have to fight.