Monday, October 21, 2013

What is Christian Recovery?

There’s no doubt that the subject of addictions is an emotional one. I have yet to meet a soul who has not been touched in some way by addictions. What I have noted is that each person reacts differently to the addict, with many who simply put up a wall of indifference to protect themselves from the pain. The concern of these loved ones can often turn to criticism.

On the other hand, there are many people who have been totally devastated by the substance abuse of their loved one. In their own desperation, they have tired themselves out by working to save the addict from themselves. In the midst of it all, they can become discouraged, depressed, and ultimately, disappointed in God. 

Serving in the Christian recovery ministry since 2002 has placed me in the middle of the battlefield, right between the addicts and their loved ones. I have seen the tears, the fighting, the wounds, the blood, and the scars of the weary, the undone, and the disgusted.

I have helped the addict to get clean, and cheered people on as they start to win the battle for their own soul. I have also watched the recovered fall into relapse several times before they quit for the final time. But it's not the lack of God's power that's to blame. It's a decision to choose a substance over a savior.

No matter what I see happening with the addicted and those who love them, I understand this one thing: God is enough! 

Christian recovery is all about believing that God is who He says He is. This goes for the addict and the loved ones of the addict. They must both trust that God has the power to set captives free and to transform lives. They must know that God is for them and not against them, and that God hears their prayers and answers them in His way and His time.

Christian recovery is also about the act of surrender on the part of the addict and their loved ones. The addict must surrender to God and get rid of their idol. The loved one must surrender the addict to God and quit trying to take the place of the true savior.

When thinking about Christian recovery, I'm often reminded about the story of the Prodigal Son. While the prodigal was messing up his life by living the way a modern-day addict might live, the father did not cut him out of the family. Instead, he yearned for the return of the prodigal son, and when it happened, he kissed him on the neck and put on his colorful coat. He also gave his son the ring, which symbolized that he had retained his inheritance.

God has made a way home for all addicts!

Now, I do believe that there is a point at which the hand of God is removed from those who continuously refuse to obey the Lord, but no one knows when exactly that is. This biblical truth is such a serious matter that I often find myself warning Christians in addiction about this possibility. Many heed the warnings, but there have been times when addicts have said that they are going quit, but decide to enjoy their last hurrah, only to end up dead, doing harm to others, or in prison. 

For Christians, recovery results in total freedom from drugs and alcohol. This is what separates the Christian in addiction from everyone else. When they repent and it comes from the heart, they are forgiven by God and given the strength and power necessary to overcome and have victory. They are welcomed home and again assured of their inheritance.

To learn more about The Solid Road Christian Recovery program, visit