Some of us live with people who struggle. Relapse, recover … relapse. Recover. Will it ever “stick?”
“Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Mt. 18:21-22
The metaphor for forgiveness is “always.”
Taking ones eyes off of one self is essential. First and foremost: there is no place for condemnation coming from the mouth of a believer. Despite our best efforts however, it’s really hard not to slip into old habits.
The only thing crazier than a drunken mind is the mind of a sober person who argues with a drunk.
And so as one struggles with addiction — another struggles with Christian maturity. Often it is the woman who waits on a sodden husband. Sometimes, though, those roles are reversed.
“Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Mark 8:34
Are we tired of the struggle? Having “Wandered in the Desert” too long “because a loved one is using.” (Sounds like an excuse… doesn’t it?) By attending meetings, by volunteering in Jails and going to Church we serve a purpose beyond ourselves. This is what Jesus did.
“By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” John 5:30
Can I be satisfied in the depths of my soul simply by doing the work, by seeking grace, by living always in forgiveness? Is this something of what it means to follow and serve Jesus? Is this the lesson I’m learning? Is my joy where He is? Or do I condition my contentment on something else?
“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Ps 16:11
In the case were a man must wait and pray, desiring healing for his wife, culture is violently opposed. “Kick her to the curb, get on with your life! You deserve to be happy.” And worse; that what is seen as enabling is actually care-giving. He is condemned by a mean drunk at home and then again by fellows in AA because he stays with her.
That man needs a friend.
“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” Is. 43:24
That man needs a friend who will wait and watch with him, and also be sold-out to witnessing the grace of God poured out in another’s life. Be a witness to what only God can accomplish. Will we wait with a friend for that? Is it worth it?