Monday, August 6, 2012

Adrenaline Junkies

Earlier this year, a 20-year old Seattle man, known as the “Barefoot Bandit”—he committed his crimes wearing no shoes—was sentenced to 6 ½ years in prison after a 2-year international crime spree, stealing planes and boats by which he travelled to foreign countries. Like the character in the movie "Catch Me if You Can," the Barefoot Bandit was an adrenaline junkie.

Adrenaline junkies are addicted to the exciting, pleasurable effect of adrenal glands dumping a large doses of adrenaline into the bloodstream. People  will do many things to get that rush: leap out of airplanes, climb rocks, race cars, bungee jump.

God has designed us with a spiritual appetite for stimulation too. Stimulate one another (Heb. 10:24), the word meaning, “to incite, provoke, or contend.” (Most churches don’t really encourage that kind of thing!) Watchman Nee clarifies that it isn’t what happens on Sunday morning that stimulates individual growth, but in between Sundays whenever people meet, each encouraging the other to faith and commitment.  The proven fact is if Christians don’t get that stimulation they are looking for, they will become bored and leave the church. Instead, you may find them out on Sunday morning looking for an adrenaline rush.


  1. Hi Dr. Greg,
    Good observation on our media dominated age that celebrates the adrenaline junkie. I have been on the other end of working for someone who did not realize that were addicted to a milder form of being an adrenaline junkie. Based on the behavior that was observed, this person's day did not really start until they got angry about something. This was not their dominate emotion, just their "go to" emotion to get themselves jump started. An addict would call that "just chipping," (not mainlining, as the person was not angry all the time).
    I believe that adrenaline is a good thing, and that God gave us all good things to enjoy. There is a purpose for the good things, so it is implied that there are appropriate places, times, and reasons for those good things, and that we are responsible for the use of those good things. The issue is usually not the good thing itself, but the appropriate use of the good thing. As stewards, we are responsible and accountable to those we love and to those that love us (which includes God, who knows us best and loves us most) for the usage of those things (like adrenaline).

  2. It occurs to me that just as people over-use adrenaline due to the boredom of their lives, so too people will seek their 'rush' apart from God if they're not getting it from God (through one another of course). "Let us consider how to stimulate one anothe" is a primary motive for writing this daily blog. Greg