The goal of CSG episode 041 is twofold: namely, one, that stereotypes of drug addicts or addiction in general would be rightly understood, and two, this conversation would give both addicts and non-addicts in the church better tools to work with to engage drug addiction in the Church...and out.
Michael leads us in giving his testimony concerning his experience using opiate’s. (Side note: beginning like a lot of addicts, Michael began using, not to “get high” but for post surgery rehabilitation. In pain, Michael took pain pills for comfort. This is my (Tyler) story as well. This seems to be a common denominator amongst many of those who end up becoming addicted to opiates especially.)
Noah then asks a great question about whether or not Mike had a walk with Jesus at all during this time in his life and if so, how did that effect Mike’s decision’s and possibly even outcome of his addiction?
For the addict we answer questions like “How do I reach out if I’m struggling with drug addiction to my church or family” and “What if I have been hurt before by the church and don’t trust very well” and for those who haven’t been pierced by this particular arrow from Satan’s quiver, “What can I do if I know someone struggling with drug use or addiction in general” (there is a difference between “drug use” and “active addiction”)?
This is important for the local church . “What is the appropriate heart to approach the addict with?” What ultimately drives a person to do what they do? Using the gospel to attack the root of drug addiction, sin, is how we fight this but do we put the gospel first, or is it central?
Mike and I then get into what addicts actually experience when going through “withdrawals” and give and addict POV for those who have never experienced this “HELL” those addicted to anything like this have probably experienced in one form or another and what we do, just to feel “normal”
A lot more is discussed in this episode in detail about drug addiction, even going on to answer the question “What happens when trust is broken between two people confided in each other to help?” but I would like to end with some practical steps those who are struggling with this particular sin and those who are feeling a desire to help someone in this situation can apply:
- Find someone you can TRUST. This is key.
- TALK to them. Be open and transparent, not feeling ashamed. We are forgiven! Also don’t give a cause for stumbling. Understand this is physical as well as mental and spiritual.
- LISTEN. To the one helping, listen to the addicts story and to the addict, listen to the advice you’re given.
- CENTER the conversation on The Gospel. The Gospel is the axe to strike the root of the tree that is sin for both sides.
- FORGIVE. As I stated earlier, we are forgiven therefore if you backslide forgive yourself and get back up! To the accountability partner, if your partner backslides 70 X 7 times...forgive.
- ENCOURAGE each other daily.
- DON’T PUSH the addict to quit. Let God work in his or her life to grant repentance and faith.