"God's servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devils trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands." 2 Timothy 2:24-26
A dear friend of mine has a child with addiction issues. Somehow, even though her parents wanted her very much and love her very much, she got high and liked it. Even though she was in Girl Scouts and played sports in high school and got a great college education, she grew up to drink alcohol pretty regularly. Soon, she disliked feeling any other way than high. So, she tried another drug, and she liked that, too…the esquisiteness, but soon she needed to up the ante. Just a little higher.
Hi. My name is Jana and I am a believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with alcohol. Alcohol and anxiety, and maybe a baker’s dozen of other issues. I know about the devil's trap of addiction, and I also know about the frustration of working with others who struggle with it. Because sometimes - even when you've been through the experience yourself - you really want others to just get sobriety. You want it to "stick" for them.
Working patiently with those who refuse to obey. Being in recovery ministry is hard work, but most addicts really do want to get well. My friend's daughter doesn't want to die. She is running the devil's errands in her active disease, using her body as the vehicle and her spirit as currency. She is caught and held captive by the high she seeks and doesn't yet know the esquisite joy of a life of sobriety. She doesn't yet know that it is her only option for living.
If you know and love an alcoholic or addict, construct the healthiest boundaries you can, but keep the door open to listen. Speak to them in loving truth, without enabling. This is - admittedly - such a hard balance to strike! It is nearly impossible,but impossibility is no problem for God! Be prayerful every step of the way. This is what I tell my dear friend, whose child struggles so...that sobriety can and will "stick" for addicts. You never know when God might sober them up with a change of heart, and they might pay recovery forward for others.
If he did it for me, he can do it for anybody.
He has, and he will. One day at a time.