Letting Others Help
When a person is fighting with an addictive behavior usually a person will become isolated and secretive about their sin not wanting anyone to know they are fighting a losing battle. They will make great effort to hide their habits of overeating, drinking, or drug use. Being secretive and trying to handle the problems on their own only prolongs the problem and frustrates God's method for helping. This behavior also keeps them separated from the very people who can help them.
I. God's Method of Helping.
A. You must first be willing to confess your faults (James 5:16). Confession reveals your honesty, humility and personal recognition that there is a problem. God would not direct us to confess to people our needs if this action was not important for restoration and healing in our lives. By confessing your sin to God you have humbled yourself before Him. However, there is also a wall of pride that must be broken down with men. Brokenness is essential in both areas of your life (Ps. 34:18).
B. God uses individual Christians to help you. Once you acknowledge your needs now can God use people in practical ways to reach out and touch you and help you through your struggles. Your physical body works in the same way. When you have a disease or infection in one part of your body, your immune system as soon as it detects this problem begins to work in the rest of the body and rallies all its resources to help to heal the infected part of the body. The spiritual body of Christ should work in the same way if a person will let others know there is a problem. God will then send members of His body to help to heal the other members of His body. This is God’s method for helping you. Paul said, “The members (of the Body of Christ) should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually” (1 Cor. 12:25-27). Paul also taught that the Father has, “put all things under His (Jesus) feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body” (Eph. 1:22-23). Therefore, we should put away lying to one another and, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another” (Eph. 4:25).
C. How are the members of His body to help each other? Note all the encouragements in Scripture that command us to do something very specific for one another.
1. Love one another (1 John 4:7).
2. Minister to one another (1 Pet. 4:10).
3. Pray for one another (James 5:16).
4. Stir up one another to love and good works. (Heb. 10:24).
5. Exhort one another (Heb. 3:13).
6. Build one another up (1 Thess. 5:11).
7. Comfort one another (1 Thess. 4:18).
8. Forbear and forgive one another (Col. 3:13).
9. Serve one another (Gal. 5:13).
10. Receive one another (Rom. 15:7).
11. Teach one another (Col. 3:16).
12. Admonish (caution or reprove) one another (Col. 3:16).
* But, the question is: Do you allow people to do these things for you? Do you do these things for others?
II. How Can you Apply These Truths to Your Need for Help?
A. First, find someone who is an example to you of a person who is truly walking with the Lord. Look for a person who has encouraged you in the Lord and ministered the Word of God to you. It is very helpful if this person has also had a background in dealing with their own addictions.
B. Go to this person and ask if they would bear your burden with you. Paul taught, “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). If you are the person being asked to help, remember: “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (Gal. 6:1).
C. Tell this person of the struggle you are having with your life-dominating sin. Be specific. When people came to Christ in New Testament times notice what they did: “And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds” (Acts 19:18).
D. Ask if you can contact this person for prayer, counsel, and encouragement. This is what you need to do especially when you are struggling with temptation to go back to your addiction. James taught that this was the specific reason to confess your faults to other – so they could pray for you. “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).
E. Having regular contact with this person keeps your from becoming isolated. One of the best ways to have this regular contact with the person that is helping to support you is to get into a weekly prayer meeting with them. This way you will be able to talk on a weekly basis. This is also a great way to remain accountable because you know someone is going to ask you a simple question. “How are you doing?”
F. Encourage them to regularly ask you how you are doing. It is essential that you encourage your prayer partner to ask you this question. Why? So he or she will be totally comfortable challenging you with probing questions and counsel. You must also be open to receive their encouragement and counsel. Solomon encouraged us to be open to good counsel because without it, "people fall" and "purposes are disappointed" (Prov. 11:14) (Prov. 15:22). Remember, "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes; but he that heeds counsel is wise" (Prov. 12:15).
G. Consider two things that will keep you balanced:
1. The Lord is your ultimate Helper. You must remember as David said, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1). The Lord will be there when you can’t find a brother or sister to help you. David also encouraged, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices” (Ps. 28:7). David had personally found that the Lord would be his strength. But, as one King of Israel acknowledged when he was asked for help by a woman in a time of great need, “If the Lord does not help you, where can I find help for you?” (2 Kings 6:27). This king knew he could only do so much. In another time of need King Asa believed that the Lord had total ability and authority to do whatever was needed and said, “Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You” (2 Chron. 14:11). Here is the bottom line in your thinking. God must be seen as your ultimate helper, but He also chooses to use people to help you.
2. The ultimately responsible for your decisions is yours alone. Even though Christians are commanded to bear your burden with you (Gal. 6:2), Paul also teaches that each Christian is ultimately responsible to bear his own load (Gal. 6:5). These two truths will keep you from misplacing your faith, trusting in men, and getting too dependent on people.