Finding Jesus Through Addiction

Addiction

I’m positive there will be people who read this with no clue how to understand what the article is about. I apologize to you in advance. My prayer is that there will be a few individuals who either suffer from addiction themselves or have someone else they are close to in which this article will produce a little peace and patience for those being affected.

You may or may not agree with the message I have in this article. This has simply been my experience and the message I have been led to share after spending time in prayer about the subject.

How many of us have ever been at a 12 step meeting and laughed when the one person makes the comment? “No one grows up telling themselves that they want to be an alcoholic or a drug addict when they get older, or my goal in life is to one day be an alcoholic.”

I tricked myself into believing this one thought was my curse for most of my adult life.

From my earliest childhood memories in Arkansas, I can remember everyone making it clear to me that my father was an alcoholic and how horrible that makes a person. I can also remember being seventeen years old on a Saturday afternoon in March of 2000 with several of my friends, my dad, and a couple of his buddies. It was an awesome day, weather wise, for early March in Indiana.

We were all around a campfire at the campground my father owns and had been drinking beer since earlier in the day. Everything was great. No one had any problems or a care in the world. It’s the night I specifically remember making the comment to my older brother. “If this is what being an alcoholic is, then this is exactly what I want.”

I spent over ten years believing that saying those words is what created my problem. I now know the truth. Nothing I have ever said could have the power to give me the blessing of being an alcoholic.

I now know that I have this precious gift because my life was planned long before I was born.

Every single person who suffers and recovers from drug and alcohol addiction has been hand-picked by God. He chooses us because normal people could never live through the horrible lives we create through our addiction and survive to help others carrying the same cross. Normal people could never handle the broken families, loss of jobs, or seeing our children go without in order for us to get another buzz.

Having family and friends grow to the point where they want nothing to do with us. Sleeping in cars or a tent in the woods and begging people who pass by on the streets for change, just to get another beer is something you have to experience in order to relate and provide comfort. There is no doctor, college degree, medicine, or self-help book that could ever help a person recover from this. Only Jesus and the special ones of us that He picks, who have lived through it ourselves.

God blesses us with gifts.

He also gives us the opportunity of killing ourselves with them or using them to point others to the cross. He allows us to make a choice of going to meetings, talking about our struggles with others, and going out of our way to encourage or inspire another person who is having a more difficult time than we are. God allows us to admit when we are wrong and make amends to those we have wronged in the past. He places people in our lives who can teach us how to serve Him first and others second. Only then will He bless us. God chooses us to be alcoholics and addicts.

Related PostFighting Spiritual Battles

If you are suffering from addiction, there’s absolutely nothing I can tell you about your struggle you don’t already know. There’s one thing I can tell you. The feeling is amazing once you’re finally able to stare Satan in the face and laugh at him. This only happens once you have learned how to allow God to fight your battle for you.

The other part of the problem

This message is also for the person who looks down on those who are suffering. Addiction is a life-threatening matter. It’s not as simple as not drinking or using, not at first anyway. The battle we face is real. You staring down your nose at something you don’t understand might be what ends up pushing someone over the edge.

Related Post: Do You Laugh at Misfortune?

Since when does the Bible say to love your neighbor, unless they drink too much? Is there a verse that says give to the poor, unless they spend it on alcohol? If someone is suffering from addiction enough to ask you for change, trust me when I tell you that you have no clue how bad they need a drink.

This doesn’t make them a bad person. It doesn’t mean that God loves you more than He loves them. It means they were created in His image and you’re to love them the same way you would anyone else. I am not saying buy a 12 pack and start handing them out to the homeless. I am saying, when you give away change you know will be used to buy alcohol, say a prayer for the individual while walking away.

You never know when they might start writing for a website you read everyday.

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Written by Jeffrey Stevens

<p>My greatest blessings and responsibilities in life are my wife and our children. My mission is to use my talents as a writer in a way that inspires others to seek a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.</p>

  • Virginia Anthony

    One of the most vulnerable and well stated posts I have had the privilege of reading. Thank you Jeffrey for saying things most people may not have the courage to say, speak about or even talk openly to their closest friends and family about.

    “No one grows up telling themselves that they want to be an alcoholic or a drug addict when they get older…” Even if you do not know the struggle of drugs and alcohol, I’m sure you can relate to a struggle of some kind. Whether it’s with the internet, pornography, gambling, online chat rooms, shopping, social media or anything else. More than likely you didn’t grow up saying you wanted to do these things when you got older.

    You are not alone and your times of testing will only turn into a great testimony for you share. The experiences we face in life all have meaning. It’s how we use these experiences to glorify God and help others see hope in your triumph. Your pain isn’t for nothing, but your freedom will speak volumes to those you walk among.

  • Great post man. I do not directly relate to it – BUT, I’ve walked with friends who have come through SA and AA. It’s serious stuff. I’ve learned the importance of just being a friend who loves regardless of actions during some seasons. The guys in my life who have made it through these things are some of the greatest inspirations in my life – it shows that they REALLY want God and nothing else. Truly amazing.

    Thanks for sharing a bit more of your story, it’s always a blessing to me brother… Keep it up!

  • I never had an addiction, so I can’t relate to you there Jeffrey. I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder though, and have seen my life turned upside down because of it, and then right-side up because of Jesus (and medication). I wonder if you mentioned that you’re in a better place now – do you call that recovery? I will be starting a new job in a couple weeks as something like a peer support specialist for those with mental illness AND addictions, so what should I keep in mind while assisting my addictions clients? Trying to gather as much info as possible before I start. Thanks Jeffrey!

    • I would say remember not to give advice, instead make suggestions. There is a huge difference between the two. When a non alcoholic or addict tries to tell us we need to do something without being able to relate, it’s hard to cooperate. We are much more open to suggestions. I also think the people who you work with would be much more receptive if you’re open up front and let them know you do not struggle with addiction. Yes, my life is better right now than I could’ve ever imagined. Life is difficult, but it’s amazing.

    • Virginia Anthony

      Amazing testimony Katie, thank you for sharing this with us.

  • Roland

    I was an addiction minister in the city, and I must tell you that people don’t find Jesus, Jesus must find them, and he will within his timing should HE wish to do so, and nothing you and I do in the flesh has any bearing on a work of God in someone!

    • Unless you have suffered from alcoholism or addiction, it’s really kinda hard to minister to those who do. That’s a lot of the reason why addiction is such an epidemic right now. There are people trying to help who have no idea what they are talking about. Some things you don’t learn sitting in a classroom.

      • Roland

        Does it sound like I learned my above statement from sitting in a classroom? To the contrary, I learned it through failure, and discovering that I had the power to do nothing – as in without Christ, you can do nothing. That was my point.

        • I wasn’t referring to you personally, I was speaking about counseling services in general. AA is much more beneficial than any one on one counseling or ministry, especially when the one attempting to help hasn’t lived the struggle themselves. There are many people who are unable to even comprehend finding and living in relationship with Jesus without the help of someone who has lived the nightmare themselves.