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Shepherding The Recovering Christian


 Editor    Feb 14 : 17:10
 None    Misc

We have to disciple through God's Word.

We have to disciple through God's Word. Help people understand that counselling from the world (AA, NA, etc) is not what they need, but that the real help they need is to be found in the Word. Understand that you, as a discipling partner, are competent to counsel because you have God's word. (Romans 15:14)

Expect emotional immaturity. Remember, using abusively stunts your ability to deal with emotional difficulty and problem-solving. People are therefore very susceptible to relapse in the early stages of recovery, because the life of a disciple demands emotional maturity. Here's how to help people identify what they're feeling: Have them write a list of feelings like the ones below:

Happy
Mad
Sad
Glad
Afraid
Embarrassed
Etc.


Now have them write down some scriptures on how to deal with those emotions. Help people to got in touch with feelings by asking a lot of questions: Are you feeling sad? Are you feeling angry? What are you feeling? People need to understand that it's going to take a lot of humility and willingness to learn if they are going to emotionally recover.

Expect some mental slowness also. If someone has smoked crack every day for 10 years, it will slow them down.

Disciple people to stay outward-focussed. One of the things that using does to us is make us very inward and self-obsessed. If I have hurt someone through my using, I tend to be less worried about what I can do to make amends than I am about the remorse and bad feelings that I have. This hooks us back into using. So get people out of that cycle of self-obsession by getting them into Bible studies, into serving, anything that will help them learn to be a servant and think of the needs of others. Jesus told us that he had come to serve, and we have to help people to be like Jesus.

Help people stay in touch with the body daily. Hebrews 33:13 in crucial for new disciples, especially those with a past of addiction. I Peter 5:8 teaches that Satan preys on the weak. Those in recovery usually don't know how to bond very well, so don't assume that they will make friends easily and not have to deal with feelings of awkwardness and isolation.

Encourage people to be in a healthy spiritual environment. This may mean moving in with brothers or sisters, Otherwise they will continue to be at risk

Teach people the importance of openness. Deceit is one of our biggest enemies, and if you don't talk openly about what you feel, that's deceitful. Feelings are real, and talking about them is to be encouraged. The reason to talk about them is that we might not be contro1led by them, and the beet way to be controlled by them is to not talk about them.

Teach people the importance of a great relationship with God. We know that we can't use drugs anymore, but a lot of times we don't translate that into a great relationship with God. Realize that if you don't have a great time with God every day, you're going to get hurt.

Ask questions. Ask them out of genuine concern, but ask them. Services went a little long today, how did you feel about that? If they had a friend studying and he or she didn't make it; An anniversary of a loved one's death; a sister or brother that they liked but that didn't return the affection; Be sensitive to those times in a person's life when they're really susceptible to wanting to deal with pain in a negative way. Be aware of Satans schemes.

Destroy the myth that you can't relate if you don't have a drug or alcohol problem. If you're powerless over anything, you can relate to how it feels to want to drink. Romans 7: 14-25.

Help people deal with overconfidence. When people have been clean and sober for a while, there's a real tendency to be overconfident and feel like they've put drugs and alcohol behind them forever. Help people to be aware of this error.

Ask people if they're happy. Happiness is such a measure of how we're doing spiritually. Encourage people to live full and productive lives. Most healthy and enjoyable activities fall by the wayside when we're using. It's important to be focused on building a full and fun life. Date! Go camping! Rollerblade! Whatever floats your boat.

Have high accountability. Again, not a checklist but genuine concern. If I'm discipling someone that I really care for, I'm going to want them to know the joy of sharing his or her faith. Hold people accountable with how they use money, how they spend time etc. An unplanned-for Saturday night with nothing to do, for instance, is asking for relapse.

Don't assume anything! Ask questions. Don't assume that people will not have problem with dating, or handling their money, or even going to the store. Don't assume that people aren't using, that people aren't still going to hear from old friends, girlfriends or boyfriends. When you drink and drug, there are a lot of scars. It's important to show genuine love and understanding if people are going to stay faithful.


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