By Brandon Sutton
I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard a Christian say, “I don’t think I can help them. I have never struggled with an addiction before”, because I would be a rich man. One of the biggest misconceptions in recovery is that you must have shared experiences with someone in order to help them. For example, many alcoholics believe that if they are to receive help in order to stay sober, that help must come from another alcoholic. Otherwise, the one trying to help just doesn’t understand what they’re going through.
I understand why people feel that way, and it is true in a sense. When you’re able to relate to another person who has been through what you’ve experienced, it’s comforting. But it’s not necessary. The Christian who has never touched a drop of alcohol or even seen what drugs looks like has the ability to help the struggling addict.
Jesus attracted these kinds of people. In fact, He was around them so frequently that our Lord’s opponents accused him of being “a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Matthew 11:19). Of course, Jesus never sinned. So, He obviously didn’t have a drinking problem or struggle with any other addiction. Yet, alcoholics were drawn to Him, and I’d imagine, if Jesus were here today, He’d be surrounded by the sexually immoral, heroin addicts, drunks, prostitutes etc. Why? Because they were drawn to Him. And why were they drawn to Him? Because Jesus loved them. He never compromised His own righteous character, nor did He water down His teaching. He was always perfect. He called sinners to repentance. He spoke the truth about Heaven and Hell. And He did all of us having never shared in their sinful experiences. As a result, many of those people were saved and became His follower.
My Christian friends, you don’t need to be an addict to help an addict. You have everything you need in Christ. Consider the following and you tell me if it’s enough.
- You have been called. Every Christian is called to make disciples. You have that calling. Jesus Himself commands us to evangelize and disciple all people, and He did not exclude those people who are different from you.
- You have the Spirit. Every believer has the indwelling Holy Spirit. The Spirit guides, equips and empowers you for the work of gospel ministry. Trust in Him.
- You have the Word. You have been armed with the greatest weapon of all—the Word of God. Through the Spirit and the Word, you will see lives changed. Don’t worry about not having a similar testimony to share. Share the Word!
- You have the Church. We aren’t in this alone. Jesus has called us to make disciples with fellow believers. Lean on their strength and support. We are stronger together.
- You have the Savior. Our Savior went before us and showed the way. He ate and drank with tax collectors and sinners. He was seen with drunks, thieves and prostitutes. His followers today (us!) should look and behave just like He did. When we meet with unbelievers, they should smell the aroma of Christ and sense His love.
Christian, I think you’d agree, we have more than enough to do the work our Lord has called us to perform. The question is: Will you answer the call?
We need leaders in Recovery and Redemption on Sunday night at 6 pm. Will you pray and ask the Lord if He is calling you to this work? I can promise you, if you enter into this ministry, you will not regret it. We are on the front lines of the battle for souls, and the Lord is blessing this work.