Near the epic conclusion of Tolkien’s Return of the King, Frodo stands on the threshold of destroying the “One Ring of Power.” All he has to do is throw it into the consuming fires of Mount Doom. But the hobbit can’t do it. He holds on to the ring, powerless to let go despite the ring’s destructive power.

Most of us can relate to Frodo. We too hold on to things we know we should get rid of—sometimes deeply shameful, secret addictions that bring us temporary relief from overwhelming pain but ultimately leave us worse off.

Those who’ve discovered lasting freedom from the suffering of an all-consuming addiction know it’s far more complex than simply choosing to say no. The power to break free from addiction comes not from more “willpower” or praying harder when temptation knocks. Freedom comes through opening up to the invitation of Jesus (sometimes through others) to work through the deeply broken and traumatized places that we’ve tried to numb through our addictions.

The last book of the Bible pictures the invitation of the resurrected Jesus: “I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends” (Revelation 3:20). The thought of Jesus knocking on the door of our addiction may seem terrifying. What will happen if I let God in and He sees me like this? What if He makes me feel worse about myself than I already do?

But those who let Jesus in realize that the One knocking already sees everything about us as if there were no door between us (Revelation 3:15). He invites us to address the brokenness that fuels our addictions “together as friends,” secure in being fully known and accepted in His love (Revelation 3:19-20).

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Judges 16:1-21