Some of the most honest and genuine folks are addicts with 15-20 years in recovery. I’m blessed to have two good friends who have a combined 47 years of recovery. When I have something I really need to vent about, I call one or both of them. They are both precious to me. And the best part is they are always available.
I am an addict always in recovery. So are they. They will both tell you, I believe, as will most addicts with a foothold in recovery, no matter how many years of sobriety they have, they stay one decision away from another drink or another affair or another rock of cocaine or another toxic relationship or another high.
I went to them both this week. I involved myself in toxic behavior that was poisoning my testimony, my witness and my walk with the Lord. I didn’t fall off the wagon, but two left wheels were hanging off the cliff. Both my friends gave me excellent, loving advice. The advice they gave me is good counsel for anyone facing a temptation and finding themselves on the verge of a decision that could be deadly. Here’s what one of them told me:
You need to put yourself in a place where you can identify the consequences of the choices you make. For instance — If I make this decision, what will happen? When that happens, what could happen next? When that happens, what could happen next? In other words, try to lay out the consequences of your actions at every decision until you get to the worst case scenario. Then ask yourself, “Is what I’m about to do worth the outcome?” My friend said, “I find myself at the point where if I go left I’ll be okay. If I go right, it can lead to this and then this and then this until I wind up falling off the wagon again, back in the throes of my addiction.”
So, that’s what I did. I turned right instead of left. I think I’ll be okay now, at least for today. Is that sound advice or what? It seems like it would work for anyone, whether they’re in recovery or not. What a great plan?
The other thing I love about my friends with years in recovery they are brutally honest with me. They have all that recovery advice to share with me that truly blesses me. I know that I know that I know they won’t BS me. They love me enough to use their adversity and their recovery to help me make better choices than I would on my own. Addicts with lots of recovery love to share their experience, strength and hope. The more recovery, the wiser they become.
The other thing I like about my friends is they are both sold out to Jesus Christ. Their God, as they understand Him, is Jehovah God, The Almighty, the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings. They both live for Him now. They spend lots of time seeking a more intimate relationship with God and ministering to others when they’re asked to do so.
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
Would you like a friend who will be objective with you, and brutally honest with you, and listen to you without judging you, and share their experience and their recovery with you? Get to know an addict with a few decades of recovery under their belt. Now, those of us in recovery don’t go around wearing signs on our backs. In fact, it’s often the opposite. Many addicts in recovery are often guarded about it. They won’t advertise it. They won’t stand out in a crowd. Don’t make the mistake of asking around. If an addict in recovery wants you to know
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13
their story, they’ll share it with you in God’s timing. Any relationship you have with an addict in recovery will be up to God. God is the one who will bring you together. If you try to make friends with someone in your own strength, it won’t work. It won’t be the friendship you seek or God wants. God will have to put you together. The best thing you can do in your search is pray that God will lead you to the right person at the right time for the right purpose.
I would not trade my friendship with my precious friends with decades of recovery for anything. My friendships with them are sacred, invaluable to me.
If you’re fortunate enough to make friends with an addict with decades of recovery, God will richly bless you and your friendship.