In thinking of the pain and suffering inflicted on the families of addicts, it is not surprising that they (the families) exhibit reluctance, reservation and suspicion of the addicted family member. The addict has planted unbelievable, unimaginable aberrant behavior in the home. This IED (improvised explosive disorder) is manifested by wounding all of those around him in one way or another. The wounded ones have been hit with lies, denial, harsh words, accusations, loss of finances, nights spent alone, fear, deception, and on and on the list goes…all rooted in the spirit of self-centeredness. Stories upon stories are numerous of the heartaches caused by the addict.

After much pleading, praying, crying and hoping, the bruised ones finally get the addict to submit to help. In the case of one coming to Bethel Colony of Mercy for help, an application is made, the waiting period is in progress, all are waiting anxiously and finally the addict is accepted into the program and told to come in. He arrives at the transformation center, most of the time, with his loved ones as they are his mode of transportation. He is checked in and the family is given a tour of the facility. Goodbyes are said and the family leaves (often tearfully and always relieved).

I would like to say something as gently and compassionately as I can; it is the addict that has caused the wounds. He is NOT the victim; the family is. As Flannery O’Connor has written; “Grace must wound before it heals.” The addict must see his offense as wicked and sinful. As the Holy Spirit convicts him of his wickedness and sinfulness, it is for the purpose of bringing him to repentance. It is for the purpose of bringing him to the cross, where Christ died for our sins in order that we may be cleansed and forgiven. I John 1:9

This is truly a mighty work that cannot be resolved by the wisdom of man. For an addict taken captive by his lusts thrives on self-centeredness. He is self-centered in his relationships, his wants, his pleasures, and his earth-bound wisdom. We read in Isaiah of the indictment against Babylon. “Therefore, hear this now, you who are given to pleasures, who dwell securely, who say in your heart , ‘I am, and there is no one beside me.’” Isaiah 47:8 And, inJames 3:15; “This wisdom (speaking of self-seeking in v.14) does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.” Note the description of “this wisdom”. It is earthly which is rooted in self-centeredness. It is sensual which is rooted in the senses and leads one to seek pleasure and/or avoid pain. It is demonic which is rooted in being driven by the devil. “For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.“ Luke 8:29

This is a formidable state to overcome, but it is not hopeless! “For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37 “…the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil.” I John 3:8 “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36

My dear readers, it is the prayer of faith that will be able to pierce the realm of darkness to which the addict has surrendered. Petition God to send light into his soul in order that; “God will perhaps grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth.” II Timothy 2:25

When true repentance enters the soul, it will not be a superficial repentance. It will be a heart-breaking repentance like King David’s prayer; “For I acknowledge my transgression, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned and done this evil in Your sight.” Psalm 51: 3-4

You that are hurting and have a loved one in bondage, I recommend you go to Archived Counseling Corners. Search for the 2008 message “The Burden of A Heavy Heart”. It is listed under the subject of Heavy Heart.  May God bless you immensely!