Are You Are Here to Help Yourself or Others? ~ blog
I have said for years that a critical part of everybody’s recovery is when they begin to help others. Now when a person enters our ministry, either at a church with a 180 Recovery Program or joining an Online Support Team, they are usually in pretty bad shape. They may look and sound fine but inside their soul and spirit is a lot of pain and suffering.
When someone is rushed to the Emergency Room and wheeled in on a gurney, they are in need of critical care immediately. Doctors and nurses are there with special training ready to get you stabilized or perhaps even shock you back to having a heartbeat. You get all kinds of machines hooked up to you so that these helpers can know what is happening inside of your body especially if you are unconscious and cannot talk.
Eventually, if you stabilize, they will keep you in intensive care so that you can be closely monitored. After ICU you will begin physical therapy until you can care for yourself again. However, nobody even thinks of then having you come back to the ER to help the new patients coming in. I think they might want you to get a nursing or medical degree.
However, when it comes to recovering from sexual addiction and learning how to walk out of your sexual brokenness it is very different. Your recovery will be somewhat short-lived if you are just in it for yourself and could care less about helping anybody else.
Why do you think that is? My experience of running the 180 Recovery Program for 10 ½ years is that those only interested in getting help for themselves and not willing to help others are basically being selfish. Selfishness may very well be at the heart of all addicts. They are grown inwardly focused and getting what they want and to hell with everyone else. And I speak as someone who lived that way for years.
Paul begins his 2nd letter to the Corinthians with these words;
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
That seems pretty clear does it not. Our Father is the Father of MERCIES and COMFORT who comforts us in all of our affliction. And His purpose is for us to pass that comfort on to others who are in any affliction with the same comfort we have received from our Father.
This action of comforting others is the antidote to selfishness. I know … I know … we just want to get fixed or healed and move on with our life and the pursuit of our own goals and desires. And can you guess where that is going to lead you??? Right back into sexual sin because you are being driven by selfish and evil desires instead of seeing the value of helping others.
However, I have found it to be true that for most people if they take the help they have received and use it to help others it solidifies their recovery and they are continuing to be changed into a more Christ-like person. Why? Because Christ Himself did this. He did not consider His equality with God the Father and Spirit something He had to hold onto. But …
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
Self-sacrifice is very near and dear to the heart of God. The Son of God, co-existent with God the Father and Spirit for all eternity became a man so that He could save us from our sins and give to us the gift of eternal life. And so when we humble ourselves and give to others comfort with which we have been comforted we are following in the footsteps of Jesus.
So, when people who are broken and deeply wounded by sexual sin begin to find help and healing through the Spirit and a community of others. And does not just leave the ICU and go back to a self-centered life … but makes themselves available to help others it deepens their recovery and solidifies what they have learned by passing it on to others.
Here is the illustration I use to better describe this. Let’s say that at the end of the gradual decline into deeper and darker sexual sin you find yourself in quicksand. The more you struggle to get out and deeper in you go. You have learned that you cannot save yourself so you are greatly relieved with someone who is somewhat out of the quicksand reaches down and grabs your hand.
They start to pull you out because they have some leverage being half-way out of the quicksand. And they have that leverage because someone is still pulling on their other arm giving to them the help that they are giving to you.
Those who fail to do this often find themselves back in sin and struggling all over again. It is because they go back to isolation and we all know a lone sheep is a dead sheep.
This is why I keep inviting you to join one of our Online Support Teams … where you can both receive the help you need and give that help to others as well. Just email me.