"While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought into bondage.
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."
2 Peter 2:19-22
I guess I was thinking of New Year's resolutions when I was reading this. :) So often, we want to make a new start in our lives, and we're going along great, but then suddenly screw it up, even this soon after New Year's. :) And there is a lot of warning in these verses, but I think also some hope. The verses explain how bad it is to get caught up in sin, *especially* after we've escaped it once. When we listen to the world telling us that our sin is okay, we make ourselves slaves... slaves to the sin or addiction, and slaves to the opinion of the world. It's like embracing Satan, and how awkward/painful would *that* be? Not sure we want to go there.
The hope here is in a lot of places, but firstly in the fact that there is a warning at all. What would be the point in warning us if it were hopeless? I also like the "entangled therein, and overcome" bit. If Christ has helped us escape our sins, and we get entangled again, yikes... but if we stand up again and work at it, we don't have to be completely overcome. We don't have to give up. Christ helped us the first time, and he will help us again. Sometimes, especially with addictions, it can seem hopeless. It doesn't look like there is a way out and we feel like we've used up our last chance long ago. But with God's help, we don't have to be the dog or the pig described in the final verse. With Christ, we can change. We can walk away from the vomit and the mud and whatever else we keep returning to. Today, if we do nothing else, let's get on our knees and talk to our Father about the state of our souls. Whether we're doing well on our resolutions or have already given up on them, that consistent communication with our Father is what can help us, guide us, and save us from being overcome by anything... even our own desires.