An Addict's FaithSeries: Real Faith
Faith and Addiction
This morning, we’ll continue our “Real Faith” series with the story of Noah. The ending of Noah’s story in Genesis 9 opens up a conversation about substance addiction. Substance addiction can take many forms—drugs, alcohol, pornography, food…basically any “substance” we cannot live without and which keeps us from living a healthy, functional life. Addiction is slavery. It traps you into needing a particular substance to feel normal or to function.
In the sermon, we’ll focus on the “how to’s” of getting out of addiction or preventing it in the first place. Here, I’d like to say something to those caught on the fringes—the family and friends of the addict. It’s natural behavior to want to help someone we love who has a problem. I remember being in college and trying to help a friend who was going through drug addiction. A bunch of us were talking one night about this friend and what we could do to help, and one of my buddies piped up and said the most true words: “Until he wants help, we can’t help him.” I’ve heard it another way since then: “You can’t want it more than they do.”
There’s a story in John 5 where Jesus heals a lame man at the pool in Bethesda. Before Jesus heals him, He asks the man, “Do you want to be healed?” That’s an odd question, but the reality is some people don’t want to get better and until they do, your helping them is only going to do so much. Usually, it ends up with you being burned out and angry.
Love the friend or family member who is addicted. Offer them opportunities for your support and help to get better. Talk to them and share your concern. Make sure they know where you stand and that you are there for them when they want help. But, don’t try to do the work for them. It will be harder for you and won’t accomplish much in the end.