Christians and unbelievers complain that substance abuse is contaminating their communities, schools, workplaces and social venues. Some ask, “What can I do as a person against such an enormous infestation of drug activity?”
If you are successful in changing the life of one, then that addict has learned how to assist other victims in his previous social circle. A delivered addict imposes a tremendous effect upon the lives of other addicts.
According to some surveys, an average of 91 percent of American people are privy to one or more social extremists or substance abusers. Citizens must make it a priority to assist and pray for addicted acquaintances.
They must observe their daily routine and how they survive and show each one that they are concerned and committed to help them conquer their condition. Be sincere. Reassure them that you are willing to adhere to them for the long term. Genuine concern can initiate a life of abstinence and establish a reciprocal friendship.
Abusers don’t desire to be addicted. They desire to live free of indulgence. Who are they? Some are doctors, lawyers, teachers, businessmen, politicians, janitors, carpenters, factory workers, domestic workers, garbage handlers, and, yes, servants of the church.
They are people who made horrendous mistakes. Many had much to offer the body of Christ and society. But careless mistakes turned their dreams into endless nightmares. They searched for happiness in pipes, rolling paper, syringes, sex shops, painkillers, the Internet and bottles. They misjudged their sense of strength and desperately need help. Having lingered too long they descended into addiction’s web of illusions and lies. You could be the person that leads one addict to abstinence. If the church, through Christ, cannot help the addicted, who can?
RAFA (Religious Advocates for Abstinence), reported that 93 percent of people who indulge in substance abuse for long periods are in danger of becoming addicts — this survey was conducted on those who indulged five years or more. Addiction can take place at anytime for even those who moderately indulge for sustained periods. The prevailing agony during thoughts of abstinence is cruel and unmerciful: The fear of losing self-control, the anxiety of slipping out of sanity, the concerns of losing employment, family and spouses, and the horrors of imminent death.
These fears are distinct and indisputable. The addict faces them daily. Attempting to suppress these feelings, he struggles to deny his master. Yet, hopelessness overpowers his strength to resist, and he surrenders again.
If we as a people of God fail to reach out to the mass of victims, we have aborted the standard of faithful servants of God Almighty.
Rev. Donald Agee is pastor of New Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church at Pine Bluff.
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