Helping Satan Fail In A Season Of Addiction
This time of year many of us celebrate the birth and life of Christ, seeing his time on earth as a gift to us from a loving father. There are others in our world who experience this season as one of dark loneliness. Those who are stuck in the clutches of addiction can’t imagine being in the embrace of God. Believers can see Christ’s life and death as our way forward in a lost world. As believers, we have a wonderful opportunity to hold out the hope of that redemption to the addicted who believe that they are beyond hope. Every one of us knows someone who is struggling with addiction, or who has a family member who is addicted. This is a season when believers can put God’s plan into motion for those who need a spark of hope to move forward.
Jim Moore was our guest on a recent LifeSupport podcast and told the amazing story of how his life was redeemed after falling into a deep well of darkness, full of addiction and depression.
Jim felt like a big shot. He had a great career in management and was a national spokesman. He was taking care of his family and things seemed to be going very well. But out of nowhere, a dark depression came over him and his job and people in his life started to slip away.
Jim’s teenage son fell into the world of drugs and went missing. Jim thought his son was dead and he became full of guilt and to cope, Jim started to self-medicate. He lost his motivation and engagement with people at work became more distant. Eventually, he lost his job. His wife didn’t know what to do as their finances got tighter and tighter.
To make matters even worse during this time, Jim was diagnosed with cancer. He was given only a 40 percent chance to live and the self-medicating with drugs and alcohol became a full-fledged addiction.
At 55 years-old, Jim felt like he had nothing to live for. He wanted to die. He entered Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge with the intention of being there for only 60 days. However, God had other plans and Jim ended up staying there much longer. During his time in Teen Challenge, Jim really met Christ for the first time. His experience with redemption would lead Jim into the best years of his life.
When Jim graduated from Teen Challenge, he decided to stay as an intern. He would end up working there for the next 10 years.
All LifeSupport Resources
Are FREE For Ministry Use
Effective ways to help those with addictions
Jim is a testimony of how real love from Christ-like people can help someone change their lives dramatically. During the LifeSupport podcast, Jim shared some insightful ideas of how a church or believers can support someone in addiction:
- Stop the stigma – It is easy to label people in our culture nowadays. For churches to reach people struggling with addictions, they need to get rid of the judgement and stigma. Those who are struggling need to be viewed as the son and daughters of God. Stigma creates fear and leads to isolation for those who are in need of a community of help and support.
- Get a deeper understanding – Relationships need to be established with anyone that needs help from addiction. Once the person struggling realizes that someone wants to know them in spite of their addiction, then trust and a real relationship can form. Jim says that an addiction is like sinking in quicksand, the only thing that can get you out is a rope. Jesus is the rope that believer can throw.
- Don’t expect perfection but hold them accountable – When someone has a chronic addiction, the church should not expect them to never relapse. Everyone needs one more chance, no matter how many they have had before. However, if someone is truly trying to change, it is important to hold them accountable.
- The church should be redemptive and restoring – Instead of keeping an arm’s distance from people who have addictions, criminal history, or mental health issues, the church should welcome these people with open arms.
Let’s make some more of ‘Satan’s Failures’
Jim refers to himself and others from Teen Challenge as ‘Satan’s Failures.’ His story is a story of redemption and transformation. After retiring from Teen Challenge, Jim spends his time volunteering in prison ministry to help others find the hope that was held out to him.
No matter how lost one might seem, no one is beyond the reach of God.
We created lifesupportresources.org to help you start discussions about mental health, to help remove stigma so people can find hope and healing through God. We pray that LifeSupport helps you grow your church.
If there are other reasons you don’t share your struggles, we’d love to hear them and will treat your communication as confidential. Please email any comments to [email protected]