Addiction is full of self
The investigator mourns the way commercialization has overtaken the rich tradition and taste of the versions we traditionally caught and prepared the grasshoppers. How do we recognize and change old addictive behaviors that are inconsistent with God’s will and contrary to our Christian walk and our African culture? Kwesiga had asked this question herself many times as she observed grasshopper norms perish, but never seemed to get an answer. She had made inner resolutions, promises, even vows, but always seemed to give in to her former behavior of excessive consumption of alcohol and eating bursts. The internal decision process may, for some people, have value in changing addictive behaviors; however, at best, the change will probably last a few months, or maybe even a year or two. By internal process, we mean making an inward commitment to our conscience to behave and act differently. Unlike Kwesiga, Mugisha had not made any inner resolutions or promises to change his addictive use of ‘bang’ a drug and alcohol. But other people, especially his family, had attempted to change him through the use of threats. Mugisha’s step father had told him to stop taking bang and drinking heavily otherwise he would have to leave home
The threat did little to change Mugisha’s addictive behavior. Neither did being arrested, jailed, and being removed from his father’s will. Making an inward commitment like Kwesiga or receiving outside pressure like Mugisha may have some effect on some people. But it will not produce the ongoing results that will come from replacing old addictive behavior with new attitudes and behavioral patterns. I am not suggesting that behavior modification alone is the road to permanent change; however, I am saying that in the new birth experience which Jesus speaks about “…verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”. (John 3:5). In the inner core (heart), change is based upon new beliefs, new values and new responses. The apostle Paul states this same concept in Ephesians 4:21-24; “If indeed you have heard Him, and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.