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Day By Day


By Deacon Tammy Devine

ELCA Wellness Manager
September 2018

“So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.” Galatians 4:7

A dear relative spent the summer in drug treatment. He is one of the more than 20 million Americans who struggle with addiction. Walking with him gave me a fresh look at this long, painful, and complicated journey. He raised many questions of trust, forgiveness, and grace. I have had to lean on God to give me a word of hope to share.

Psychiatrist and theologian Gerald May believed that addiction enslaves, creating what he calls “compulsive habitual behaviors that eclipse our concern for God and compromise our freedom.” These behaviors can appear in many forms — alcohol, drugs, gambling, spending time online, even work; anything can have a hold on us and separate us from God and others. In his book Addiction and Grace, May goes on to remind us that faith can help break that hold. He wrote, “Faith is the human component of that mysterious interweaving of divine grace and human intention that can vanquish the power of attachment.” As we deepen our relationship with God, we turn to Christ as the source of our contentment. We can start to see ourselves as wholly loved, precious, and worthy in God’s sight.

Recovering from addiction of any kind is a day-by-day commitment. With intention, we must reaffirm our desire to break free of the bonds of our past choices and behaviors. With humility, we must return to the source of forgiveness and grace to find the strength to take the next step. Then again, this is part of our journey as baptized children of God, is it not? Daily I make the sign of the cross on my forehead to remind myself that each morning is a new beginning. That promise is my word of hope. That promise guides my own journey toward wholeness.

Tammy Devine's monthly reflection invites you to consider how your faith and health are intertwined. She shares her personal journey to help support you in new ways as you strive to live well in Christ — for the sake of ministry in God’s world. ELCA organizations, feel free to print or link to Tammy’s reflections in your publications.

Since joining Portico in 2004, Tammy has provided whole-person health promotion, education, and inspiration to ELCA rostered leaders and lay employees. Contact Tammy Devine at

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