Victim or Recovery Expert?

I have a good friend who hit rock bottom about four years ago. He’s a different person now.

He could have become a victim of circumstance and sunk deeper. Instead, by the grace of God – and through Alcoholics Anonymous, the Church, and some good mentors – he has been radically transformed.

His recovery didn’t come by his own power. It couldn’t have. But he had choices along the way and chose recovery over defeat.

A few weeks ago, I watched my friend give counsel to someone who had hit rock bottom four months ago. They had broadly similar stories: traumatic experiences that led to substance dependency that led to legal trouble. The counsel my friend gave was beyond anything I could have provided. In that situation, he was the far better-equipped pastor, and he rose to the occasion.

Your trials and hardships, whether self-inflicted or unavoidable, are making you into either a victim or an expert at recovery from them. Which will it be?

2 thoughts on “Victim or Recovery Expert?

  1. … potentially having a lot of folks who can say “me too” and help show folks a way out (and into relationship with Jesus) is a lot more valuable than being a professional counselor in the local church.

    Willimon claims, and I think the Bible backs him up on this ;), that God has given every local congregation the tools it needs to reach its community. He questions how many are mislabeling those tools as liabilities and hiding them instead of using them.

    For example he describes a church that is older than average as having a surplus of grandparents, instead of one that is dying. That framing says that there is still something that can be done and it just happens to be true!

  2. Our life experiences are great moments of empathy when we meet others who have similar trials and tribulations. The greatest gift of care that we can offer someone is to say, “I understand. I’ve been there.,” and walk with someone forward. Glad your friend was able to do this and, I hope, I am able to do this as well.

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