Getting Help From Others

If you are an addict, you need help. If you are an addict, you think you can do it all on your own without help. That is a big part of the problem. You may recognize that you need God's help and earnestly ask Him for it. But then you want Him to answer on your terms and with your preferred method. "Please heal me directly, in private, and without any human intervention." That is a prayer or wish that is not likely to be answered.

If you break your arm, you can pray for healing and God can certainly heal you directly. In the meantime, head to the hospital and let a doctor set the bone and put a cast on.

The truth is that God uses means, especially people, to heal us and provide for our needs. I can remember praying for rent money as a young believer and receiving a belated birthday card from my grandmother. It took me awhile to see the correlation between my prayer and the check from grandma that covered my need. I guess I expected a more "divine" answer like an angel showing up with a wad of cash.

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again (Luke 6:38, emphasis added).

When God opens up the windows of heaven in response to giving, what He pours out will likely be delivered by human carriers.

We are talking about money, but the money thing is just a pattern for other kinds of help we seek from God, particularly healing. The Bible makes it clear that healing comes through interactions with other people.

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16, emphasis added).

The context makes it clear that it is not one to the exclusion to the other: God's help or man's help; but as we pray fervently, we have to be willing to receive the help He sends. You are not going to be helped in isolation.

Here are some things to keep in mind about receiving help from others:

TRUST GOD. Trust that God knows what He is doing and that He wants you to be healed. A crucial part of trust is letting God choose the means for healing. "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." God will surely use people in the process.

ACCEPT IMPERFECT PEOPLE. Whenever people are involved, there is imperfection. Not everyone is going to be pleasant, kind, and helpful. Remember that your 12-step mates are sick too. If you want grace from others, give them grace. Focus on the lessons and not the nasty teachers. Isolation is fatal to the recovery process.

DON'T JUDGE OR COMPARE. There are always people that we can see as better or worse than us. The Bible says that comparisons with others are unwise. If we put the focus on ourselves and our own problems, we can learn from anyone. When we judge others, it is almost always in the areas we we fall short. Use the impulse to judge as a reminder of where you need to grow.

BE PATIENT. It took years for your addiction to grow into a monster and it's going to take time to heal. Get in a group, get a sponsor, and follow the steps. Get right with God and restore your relationship with Him. When you fall down, get back up and stay the course. There is never a better time to start than right now.

Accept that God will bring recovery and healing through other people. In due time, you will see the wisdom in it.

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