If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use disorder or addiction, it can be easy to feel cast out and ostracized by the church. Substance abuse is shameful in modern society. This often holds true to the point where family members will go out of their way to hide or even lie about a spouse, child, sibling, or parent suffering from substance abuse. After all, even the Bible calls substance abuse out as straying from the path of the Lord. Many of us have seen Corinthians 6:10 plastered on Church and Salvation Army doors, and it seems to offer condemnation to those who abuse drugs and alcohol.
“Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:10
The thing is, Jesus is not here to condemn us. He is here to lift us out of misery, to guide us onto the path of God, and to lead us into the Kingdom of Heaven. God is explicit about this throughout his book. Take the verse following the famous 1 Corinthians 6:11.
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:11
People are judgmental, unkind, and harsh. They want you to maintain social order, to take care of yourself, and to contribute to society at all times. That’s fair, that’s what you would want of them. Jesus is much more forgiving and much more able to offer you the help you need to recover, to return to His Flock, and to health.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
Jesus certainly has plans for you. He certainly wants you to be healthy, happy, and living according to the Word of God. This is explained throughout the Bible, again and again. At the same time, Jesus knows that people go astray. Jesus spent his time on earth turning to the sinners, to the downtrodden, and to the outcasts. His followers included criminals, prostitutes, and former drunkards. And even Saul, later to become his greatest Apostle, lived a life of sin, persecuting the people he would later call his brethren.
It does not matter where you are in life or where you have been. Jesus loves you. That love will continue to be there whatever you do with your life. Whether you get clean and sober or don’t, Jesus loves you.
“And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.” – Matthew 28:20
Jesus is steadfast, all encompassing, and enduring. He will always be there to forgive you. He will always be there to take you back. He will always be there to offer guidance as you move away from addiction and towards a new life. It is never too late.
While it’s obviously better if you decide to get clean or sober now instead of in 3 or 10 or 20 years, Jesus will be there no matter what. He does not care how long you have been addicted. He does not care what you have done. He is here to help you, through His Word, through his Followers, and through the resources He has set up here on earth for your use. The sooner you turn to God and get clean and sober, the better your health and the rest of your life will be. At the same time, you can always ask for help and you will always get it.
“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinner to repentance.” – Mark 2:17
Most of us think of good Christians as devout people who have always been Christians. But Jesus has explicitly said that he did not come to earth for those people. They do not need him in the same way that others do. Jesus came to earth to save mankind, so that we could live forever in HIs father’s kingdom.
“I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” – Jeremiah 31:34
Speak to God. Repent your sins. Seek out help. Jesus will forgive you. You can rejoin the Kingdom of Heaven. You can rejoin His flock here on earth. That can seem incredibly difficult at first, but Jesus will be there for you at every step of your journey. All you have to do is seek out help so that you can get clean and sober. He will be there for you and He will be there to welcome you back.
Your family, friends, congregation, and Christian addiction recovery support networks like Celebrate Recovery are an important part of your spirituality and your recovery. It can feel awkward reaching out to a Church or congregation after addiction. This is especially true if it’s a Congregation you grew up with, people you know, whom you may have disappointed. But, involving yourself in your community and with the people in your life is important.
God has given you resources, networks, and people to help you become the best version of yourself. Take advantage of them to get the help you need. The people in your life and your community care about you, your wellbeing, and your happiness. They will offer help. And, when you’re ready, you can give back by offering help to others, through your church and through the community.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
The Bible is explicit in the fact that Jesus is here to give rest, to bring joy, and to help His people to make the most of their lives. Jesus preaches peace, love, and joy. He does not require you to live strictly or to punish yourself. He does not want you to live in guilt. He wants you to find peace, to live in a way that builds you and your community, and to come to Him after a life well-lived. Some Christians frown on the idea of God being lenient, but HIs Son turned water to wine for the sake of the enjoyment of His people.
When you trust in God, He will bring peace to you, so that you can live in happiness.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. – Isaiah 26:3
No matter where you are in life, there is always time and motivation for change. Jesus is there for you. You can always turn to Him for guidance into a better life. If you’re ready for change, a Christian-based rehab center can give you the space and stability to recover from drug addiction while you turn to God, find yourself in Him, and involve yourself in your community and a congregation. We want our brothers and sisters to live well and to experience the light and acceptance of Jesus, and we are here for you.Christian