Beware Chicken Lust

Ugly Chicken

Overcoming Addictions

I grew up in a 14X80 Lancer mobile home at the end of a dirt road in Midland, Texas. My favorite childhood dog was a half-breed mutt named Skipper. He was a mixture of Border Collie and some type of Shepherd. Like most dogs of that day, he roamed freely throughout the sparsely populated area where we lived. Frequently he dragged things home that caught his fancy. Toys, shoes, tools, and various bones all ended up in our front yard.

Then one day, as my Dad would say, “He got the taste of real chicken in his belly.” Skipper was so happy the first time he dragged home a fresh kill. If dogs can smile, he was doing it. He was covered in feathers and pride. In a gesture of kindness and loyalty, he brought the dead chicken and laid it at my feet. I accepted his offering and praised him for what I thought was a job well done.

However, Dad was not so pleased. "That dog has Chicken Lust,” he said with remorse. “You've got to beat him within an inch of his life with that chicken or his lust will kill him.”

I loved my dog very much. Little boys often do. “Dad,” I said, “Don’t make me hurt Skipper.” The words echoed in my ears as I began to snuffle.

But Dad gave me a choice. "Either hit him with that chicken or kiss him goodbye." So with tear-soaked eyes and pain in my heart, I grabbed the dead bird by its drumsticks, held Skipper by his collar, and delivered him a beating that I hoped would cure his "chicken addiction." By this time I was bawling like a little girl. Feathers flew everywhere.

“Skipper,” I said, “ I'm sorry. I don't want to lose you. But you have a problem.”

Skipper never recovered from his addiction. The consequences of getting caught and punished were not severe enough to inspire a change, unfortunately. And so one day, he never came home. His great pleasure turned into a sour poison, and the addiction ultimately led to his death. I hate to tell you this, but it’s the truth. While I was away at Texas Tech, Skipper was beheaded by a chicken farmer. My heart shattered into a thousand pieces when the news arrived.

The love God has for you is greater than the love that a little boy has for his favorite dog. God is a compassionate Father. He is able to see in advance what has the potential to destroy us. He warns us because He loves us with an "everlasting love." His Word instructs that sin is addicting, and in due course, produces death. I remember Adrian Rogers once saying, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, and make you pay more than you can afford.” What happens to man's best friend can also happen to a man.

I’ve reflected on the fate of Skipper many times over the years. His addiction began when he discovered a personal pleasure button. Everyone has at least one. Satan is an opportunist. He loves to orchestrate seasons and occasions where any of our buttons may be pressed. The first push of the pleasure button brings ecstasy. The second push produces delight. The third push sets a person on the path of diminishing return. I’ve watched people push their pleasure buttons harder and faster each day in a desperate attempt to achieve the excitement of their original thrill. Unfortunately for them, the pleasure button became an annoying itch that refused to go away. In fact, they became slaves to the itch.

When an addiction takes root, a person may place his or her pleasure button above family, career, happiness and even life itself. It's heartbreaking to watch helplessly as someone spirals down into an addiction. How I wish Skipper had heeded my warning. But even more importantly, I wish people that I minister to would heed God’s warning! A few years ago, I had a personal friend who died because of his addiction to alcohol. During a season of tremendous heartache, he leaned on the one thing that had taken care of his pain before--not God, but beer. In a drunken stupor one evening, he stepped in front of a moving car. That was his last night on earth.

A person’s god is who or what he leans on in order to take away the pain and stress of life. An addiction is a poor substitute for a living relationship with an eternal God. He wasn’t joking when He said, “You shall have no other gods before me.”

Brought to you by James Shupp, Pastor of The Movement Church of San Antonio. Need Help? Interested in attending one of our gatherings?

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James Shupp, Lead Pastor of The Movement Church of San Antonio