I grew up attending Christian School and was taught the “right and wrong answers” to anything biblical. I went off to Bible college and was given a systematic way to make all the difficult things of Scripture work into a traditional framework. However, I got into ministry and the pre-packaged answers did not always fit real-life situations.
I was taught that if someone had a struggle, the only solution was to stop it. If someone was depressed, tell them to have more faith. When someone’s faith was weak, I was supposed to tell them how horrible they were for doubting God. These bandaids are not a solution. They cover the problem. Remove the bandaid, and the gaping wound now has MRSA.
People need to ask the tough questions, search the Scriptures, and think for themselves in order to strengthen their faith. When I was in ministry, I didn’t have the professors telling me how to think anymore. I had to take a hard look at Scripture and seek the Holy Spirit for myself.
I watched this work when I worked with a youth pastor in a church where I used to serve. He would ask the youth the hard questions and make them think for themselves. The retention rate of the youth that are now adults is amazing. This youth pastor didn’t feed them the answers. He allowed them to ask the tough questions and find the answers. Their faith is rock solid as a result.
So when someone comes to you with an addiction problem and wants help, don’t do this: