Hebrews 2:18 “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.”

     Many who are addicted say to those who are trying to help them recover; “You don’t understand!  You never drank or drugged.  You never got hooked!  How can you help me because you don’t understand what I’m going through!”  In a way, they’re right and in another way they’re wrong.  Doctor’s don’t have to have a particular disease to treat it in their patients.   

     No one can completely understand another person’s life including the person themselves if they are in the grip of addiction.  No one except Jesus;  “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)  Jesus was never a drug addict yet He saves and sets free drug addicts.  Jesus came to this world to live among us and be one of us.  Jesus understands; “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) 

     Sometimes saying to another person that ‘they don’t understand’ is just another way of telling them ‘I don’t want your help’.   Addiction, trauma, illness and misfortune can create a kind of ‘self-absorbed’ outlook in a person where every one and every thing is measured against their predicament.  Jesus did ask the man at the pool of Bethesda if he wanted to get well; “When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, ‘Do you want to be made well?’” (John 5:6)  The obstacle to healing may well be in the attitude and not a lack of opportunity.  The cure is rarely what we want it to be. 

    The best thing any person can do to help another struggling with addiction, disease or trauma is to point them to Jesus. Don’t do this with ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughts’.   Do this with your ears by listening.  Do this with your person by being present in another’s struggles.  Do this with your heart by loving those who are wrapped up in their troubles.  Restrain your ego.  When you want to speak – listen.  When you want to say something – ask a question.  When you want to make a point – make it with Scripture.  The Word comforts.  The Word confronts.  The Word heals.  The Word does the work.

    God’s Word exposes a person’s problems; “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrew 4:12)  God’s Word lets a person know that nothing goes unnoticed –  there is justice; “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13)

     Sometimes people can get so wrapped up in their troubles that all they can see is themselves.  You won’t help them by demanding that they look at you.  They are confused and perplexed.  And aren’t you?  Can anyone truly know the depth and scope of another person’s pain and suffering?  One sees his own pain and problems.  Another sees their own health and solutions.  Only Jesus has been there; “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.”  (Isaiah 63:9)

     God sent Jesus to save all of us.  If we really believe that then we won’t preach ourselves or our own solutions.   We’ll get out of the way and throw the only lifeline that saves.  We’ll point to Jesus; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed . . . ” (Luke 4:18)

     Come Lord Jesus!