Friendship Addiction

Drugs and alcohol. We hear about them so much, the damage they do to human lives doesn’t even seem to register on our “I care meter.” Today I met a gentleman who is addicted. He was trembling as I held his hand and prayed. When I asked him if he had ever tried to quit, he said he had, but then he “slipped back.”

God directed me to ask him if after he had gotten clean, if someone had offered him a taste. He said they had and it was then I began to see the drug problem through a different set of lenses. The words that came out of my mouth had nothing to do with giving up drugs or even giving your life to Christ but it did have something to do with giving!
I started to talk with James about giving his “friends” the boot! He had the power to stop using. He had proven that. Now he had to “withdraw” from his associations. The people he hung around with…they were his real addiction. He had to quit them or they would kill him in the name of friendship and the brotherhood.
As I spoke to him, he listened, he smiled shyly and his eyes brighten a bit. He began to understand something that he never saw before. If you hang around with thieves, you’re likely to steal rather than get a job. Hang around with drunks and drug addicts, you’re likely to drink, snort and smoke and then push the stuff on others to pay your own pusher. But…if you will change who you associate with, then you change! Hang around with honorable men and you’re likely to become honorable. Surround yourself with Godly men and your own Godliness will begin to shine.
Did what I say make a difference? Whether it did or didn’t, it needed to be said. But more is needed….you and I need to pray for James and anyone we know that may be like him. People are coerced and pressured into doing things that are harmful to themselves and to their families for a momentary high. Why do they do it? For acceptance to begin with. Then they isolate themselves within a small group of users. They have no one to tell them they are valuable children of God and they begin to crave, not just the drugs but the deceptive words that counterfeit family; “We’re family, Bro.” “I got your back.” “It’s just you and me against THEM.”

Lord God, there is a spider web in our society that catches the unwary. It shows itself like a glittering diamond necklace in the moonlight but it is dangerous to those it ensnares. It is full of deception. Drug and alcohol addiction steals the hopes and dreams of Your children. We ask You, Father, to help each of us encourage those around us. We do not know who is on the fringe of falling into this deadly trap. Give us boldness to speak love and hope into friends, family and strangers alike, for all are Your children. Protect us, O God, and our families from being lured into this life ourselves.