A Treatment Center Alumni Shares Her Story of Hope and Recovery
There is hope for Christian addicts and alcoholics who may be firm in their faith, but lacking in their application of this faith. For Christians who hear the words of St. Paul, who clearly states, "we are saved by Grace through faith in Christ," many Christians struggling with addiction wonder when the Grace of God will enter their hearts to save them from a life of despair.
Perhaps, these Christians have not listened closely to the wisdom of James, who reinforces how faith manifests itself in one’s daily life. James says, "Faith without works is dead." Therefore, faith certainly can save a sinner from the fires of hell, but if one is not practicing faith through right actions, the belief in God may only be lukewarm and not fully realized as "true faith." True faith acts according to itself.
This concept may be very difficult for Christians to comprehend. However, the Bible is full of paradoxes and riddles that can only be understood when the Word of God is digested in its entirety. To hold firm to only one precept because of convenience seems to be mere folly.
Christian rehab centers help struggling Chrisian addicts by first allowing them safe, medically supervised drug detox. Once the harmful chemicals have been removed from a person’s body after drug detox, it becomes more plausible to convince addicts that their line of thinking may be skewed by their addiction. The belief that faith is all they need may simply be a scheme of the "evil one" Jesus speaks of in the Gospels.
This evil presence in the world is out to destroy the hearts and minds of God’s people through various acts of deception. He, of course, is extremely powerful, and has been known to use God’s word as a channel to deceive. The truth that an addict is under the evil one’s direction may be difficult for the Christian addict to consider. Once this fact can be swallowed, however, the only power greater than the power of the evil one can enter the heart of the addict. This power, of course, is the very God the Christian addict claims to worship.
What Counselors and therapists at Christian drug rehabs attempt to make clear is that by abusing drugs and alcohol, a Christian is contradicting his own belief system—that God is all one needs to survive. God, after all, is the only source a Christian must depend on. An addict is dependent upon chemical substances, which in turn, become false idols. Without even realizing how the evil one has manifested himself in the mind of the addict, he has already convinced the drug user that drugs are all he or she needs to propel them through the day.
As a result, the addict takes on the characteristics of the entity who deceives. The addict lies, cheats, steals, breaks commandments, and hides from his or her true self, all in an effort to protect his reverence for the false idol—the drug.
Moving from darkness into light is a process. This process requires the help of fellow believers to overpower the entity who is out to destroy the Christian addict. This power can be found in Christian drug rehabs, in local churches, or in Christian outreach centers who desire only to shine the light of Christ upon the addict until the evil one recognizes that he is no match for God’s truth. The true believer, after all, will recognize the light as his true source and the deception will become clear because the darkness begins to fade to allow this clarity.
At this point, God’s grace will be recognizable, as having always been there for the believer. God’s plan of salvation will have unfolded before the addict’s eyes. The Christian addict will understand that the Church that he or she belongs to is a refuge where no one person stands alone.
When the grace, or "undeserved favor of God", rests in this suffering addict, he or she will then proceed to renew his or her mind. It is this renewal of the mind that Paul offers as a demonstration of the faith by which men and women are saved. This renewal, therefore, leads a person to live in light, where Faith with Works becomes a natural demonstration of the believer’s gratitude for God’s gift of grace.