The Addict Who Doesn’t Need Help
Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! 1 Chronicles 16:23,24
In the throes of my addiction, if you had tried to help me, I would likely have pointed out your flaws. Why don’t you master your own gluttony, greed, lust or pride and then come talk to me? In my mind, your own life struggles would have justified my refusal to change.
When we desire to help others who do not want help, it is a good exercise to look at ourselves and ask, What is my greatest struggle right now? Am I enslaved to food, lust, resentment, anger or greed? What would it take to convince me to change?
If we are unaware of our struggle, then we have more in common with the addict than we realize. It is profoundly hypocritical and ineffective to attempt to help a drug addict while denying or refusing to deal with our own addiction.
When I finally became willing to seek help, I found few Christians who knew how to help me. It was in treatment, that I finally met those who had truly denied a destructive addiction, to follow Christ.
King David’s prayer, in today’s passage, insists that we must tell others what God has done for us. The problem for many of us, is that we don’t have much to tell. How has God changed me? When we refuse to do what it takes to deny self and follow Christ, we are as the addict who refuses help. In this state, we have little to tell others and we certainly won’t be effective in helping them.
If we desire to help those who struggle, we must first live as disciples, abandoning our own struggles to follow Christ. We will not introduce anyone to the freedom God offers if we haven’t experienced it ourselves. We are not responsible for another’s choices. We are only responsible for our own. It is only in personally knowing freedom in Christ that others may see it and perhaps, eventually want it for themselves.